oversight

Problems in Implementation of the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 1971-05-13.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

                       .   *...a




         This is iour report    ion -problems      in implem~entation  of the FderaL
Goal Mine Health       and Safety    Act af 1969 by the Department         oh: thlc In-
terhr.      The resets    of 0aar review      are being made available      t0   you in
response      to your requeet     of August     13, 1970.

           Our     principal    observationa       are    summarized   in the   digest   which
appear25         at the beginning      of the   report.

         Aw a result   of agralrjrmerrlt reached      with your office,     we obtained,
and incorporated      in the x~epo~t, the comments            of the Department       of the
Enterior    on the mattero     discussed     in ‘d-te report,

       This report    is being    sent    tday   to the Secretary      of the Interior
.with a request   that he furnish      us with infr3rmation       on ‘d-x specific     actions
ad. plans that the Departr~-~ent        of the lenterim    an,, ‘the Bureau      of Mines
have initiated  to implement        cxw 333 commelidations       D




The HmmrabPe         Harrison     A. Williams,      Jr.
Ghairman,       Subcommittee       on Labor
Gornmittee       on Lab’m     and Public    Weil&me
ZTPnited States    Semta
CBmTROLLER GEflEmL ‘S
Ri%?ORT TO SUBCONMITTEE ON LABOR,
CQMUTTBE ON LABOR AND PUBLJC
WELFARE, UAUTED STATES SEllATE



 DIGEST
I-----




WZY T&77 REVJ-EW WAS H&DE

          The Federal Coal Mivle Health apadSafe%y Ac%of 1969 placed new w2spwsj-
          bilities     can the Bureau of Mines of the Departmek. of %he In%
          hipec-tion of coal mines and gave %heBureau brlr~adau%klori%ytea wvfcdrce
          cwrectiicsn of unsafe and unhealthy c~n~ditieans
                                                         o
          A% the request 0-f the Chairman, Subcommittee on Labors Senate ~~rnrn~%%~~
          cm Labor and Public WeliFa~se~the General Ascounti~ng Office (GAO) made a
          review of the Department of the Ir~terisr"s  implementation  of %he ac%.


FIlwDIlvGS AIUD CUflCLUSl-OflS

          At the %wo dis%ric%s v-kited by GAO, the Bureau had made about 31 perclent
          of the required safe&y inspectfons and aHPau%1 percevlt caf the rleyuired
          health     inspections   thtxugh   December 31, 1970.   (See p@ IO.)

          Bweau inspectors have ci%ed mine opera%itprs for wiola%iions and have
          required that they be correc%ed. During subsequen%9nsp~ections of the
          satmeml nesI howeve~“~n~mx9=w~snew violations wtve fzaund, lsf%enaP the
          same type as %ke earlier  ones, Tha%situatim     is at%ribu%able, a% Seas%
          iup par%, to the fact that %heDepar-tment’s policies for enforcing health
          and safety s%an&rds havoc beenS at %imes ex%remlcly IenJlent, confusing,
          ulncertain, and fnequitable.         (See ch, 3.)
          Vfarious required samplings and inspec%isns were not made by %he mine
          iOperators,,, and sme that were made were not adequate, (See p* 16.)




          The methlods for approving roof cov~trol ~znd ventilation    plans and the
          contents of approved plans v~ied significantly        between the tw
          tricts  i~l~cluded in this revfew, appareratly because Blrreaur~~~d~~~~.~~rs
          had delegated th~le approval prowess tla %he d-ktrilc% ofFices with~l~ut prs-
          viding sufficient guidance, (St% p. 24,)
Tear Sheet
Regular mine inspectors make both health and safety inspections.    'The
health inspections   are less complex and do not require some of the spe-
cial skills   and knowledge that the regular inspectors must have. It may
be possible to use some less highly qualified    technicians to make health
inspections   to conserve the time of the regular inspectors who are in
short supply.    (See p. 13.)

The Bureau's practices concerning the imposition   of penalties for noncom-
pliance do not consider various factors prescribed in the act, such as tht
effect that such penalties will have on the operator's ability    to contin,,
in business and the operator's  history of previous violations.     (See
p. 54.)

Shortages of certain types of equipment have been cited by the Bureau of
Mines as a major cause of noncompliance with health and safety require-
ments.   In this connection:

   --The Bureau has made no overall studies of the availability  of equip-
      ment required for compliance with the act and of the normal time re-
      quired to obtain equipment in short supply.  (See p. 56.)
   --The Bureau may have permitted unnecessarily    prolonged noncompliance
      with certain equipment requirements by granting mine operators time
      extensions to obtain a particular  brand that was in short supply
      while an essentially comparable substitute   was readily available.
      (See pm 59.)

   --The Bureau purchased more dust-sampling equipment than it needed and
      thus contributed to a shortage of such equipment and possibly pre-
      cluded many mine operators from establishing   dust-sampling programs
      within the time required by the act.    (See p@ 61.)

The team that investigates    mine accidents usually includes Bureau person-
nel who have been involved in prior inspections     of the mine or related
activities or who are subordinate to officials     responsible for carrying
out these activities.     In such cases, these personnel, in effect,   are re-
quired to evaluate their own previous performance or that of officials      to
whom they are responsible.     GAO believes that there should be greater in-
dependence in accident investigations.      {See p. 68.)

Bureau inspectors are given    insufficient  criteria   for making decisions on
mine operators'  compliance   with health and safety standards.     GAO be-
lieves that a comprehensive    manual should be issued to provide inspectors
with the necessary criteria    and guidance.     (See pm 71.)
Bureau representatives    said that shortages of qualified     manpower, certain
equipment, and sufficient     time were the principal    reasons for noncompli-
ance with the requirements of the act.        GAO recognizes that the passage
of the 1969 act has greatly expanded the responsibilities        of the Bureau
and that there are significant      problems in obtaining compliance with its
requirements.   GAO believes,     however, that more could have been done to
achieve greater compliance.

                                  2
     AGEflC’Y ACTICW   AND UflRESOLVED ISSUES




..




     Tear Sheet


                                                3
                                Contents
                                                                               Page

DIGEST                                                                           1

CWTER

  1      IN      UCTION                                                          4
                 -pr provisions of the act                                       6
                    Heakth standards                                             6
                    Safety standards                                             7

  2      MI   INSPECTiCONSA      OPERPITINGPLANS RELAT-
         ING TO p1I%ME  SAFETY                                                   9
             Required number of inspections    not                              PO
             Opplortwity    for more effective use of
                 inSpe@tQrS                                                     13
              Inadeq~.~ate smpling    and imspeca;ion                   pro-
                grams by nine 0                                                 96
                   Ihst smplfng                                                 16
                   Safety inspections                                           18
              Delays in submission an approvaa.                        of
                 plans        for    roof     control,      ve
                                    age,    and     equipme                    24
                              ntml   plans                                     24
                    Ventila-tion    plans                                      30
                    Fan stoppage                                               35
                    Listing3     of ekectric              equipment            36
              COnClUSiOnS                                                      38
              Weeomendations                to the Secretary          of the
                Interior                                                        38

  3      NEED FOR CLW AND STRICT ENFORC
                  es in enforcement  policy
                  ring violations
                    ent to penalty schedule in May
                                                                                50
                       sfosn of assessment of fines                             51
              current assessment procedures                                     53
              Conclusions                                                       55
              Recmmendations      to the Secretary                    of the
                 Interior                                                       55
CHAPTER                                                        Page

      4    NONCOMPLIANCEWITH LAW DUE TO SHORTAGESOF
           EQUIPMENT                                            56
               Availability    of equipment                     56
               Interchangeable    equipment                     59
               Dust-sampling    equipment                       61
               Conclusions                                      64
               Recommendations to the Secretary of the
                  Interior                                      64

      5    RECRUITMENTAND TRAINING OF COAL MINE IN-
           SPECTORS                                             66
              Recruitment  of coal mine inspectors              66
               Training of coal mine inspectors                 67

      6    OTHER MtlTTERS PERTAINING TO COAL MINE SAFETY        68
              Need for more independence in accident
                 investigations                                 68
              Need for more guidance for inspectors             71
              Coal mine research                                74
              Conclusions                                       75
              Recommendations to the Secretary of the
                 Interior                                       75

      7    EFFECT OF THE ACT ON THE SUPPLY OF COAL              77
               Conclusions                                      78

      8    SCOPEOF REVIEW                                      80

APPENDIX

      I    Letter     dated August 13, 1970, to the Comp-
              troller     General from the Chairman, Subcom-
             mittee on Labor, Senate Committee on Labor
              and Public Welfare                               83

 II        Letter dated March 29, 1971, from the Direc-
              tor of Survey and Review, Department of the
              Interior, to the General Accounting Office       84
CQ?t?TROLLER GEflEiUL ‘S                       PROBLEMSIN IMPLEMENTATlONOF THE
REPORT TO SUBCONMITTEE ON LABOR,               FEDERAL COAL MINE HEALTH AND
COMITTEE    Oil? LABOR APD PUBLIC              SAFETY ACT OF 1969
WELFARE, UNITED STATES SElfATE                 Bwreau of wines
                                               Department raf the rrlteriw B-170686


DIGEST
------

Wh’Y TEE REVIEW WAS iWDE




     At the requrest of the? Chatrman, Subcommittee on Labearl Senate Committee
     an Labor and Pwbll"c Melfarle, the General kcountfng   Office (GAO) made a
     review of the Department of the Interior"s    imp7ementation af the act.


FIflDd?-NGS AND CO~CLUSIOdl’S

     At the tws districts    visfted by GAO, the Bureau had made ahwt 31 percent
     of the required safety inspections and about 1 p8ercent of the req~lired
     health inspections   through Decembler 31, 1970, (See p. 10.)

      Rweau IYzspectors have cited mine? ~3erators far violatiw-6     and have
      required that they be carrected.    During subsequent inspections    of the
      same mInes3 hcwever9 numwwus new wiolatiorks wwe founds aften ef the
      same type as the earlier   0Mes. That situation   is attributab7e,   at least
      iy3 part, to the fact that the Department's policies    for enforcing health
      ard safety standards have been9 at times extreme7y lerka'ent, csnfmsl'ng,
      mcertaiin!, and inequita       (See ch. 3.3
      Various mquired sampilings and inspections were rwt made by the mirre
      ~operatsrs, and somtz that were made were nsot adequate, (See pa 36.)




           de1egated
          ing suffic
Regular mine inspectors make both health and safety inspections.     The
health inspections   are less complex and do not require some of the spe-
cial skills   and knowledge that the regular inspectors must have. It may
be possible to use some less highly qualified    technicians to make health
inspections   to conserve the time of the regular inspectors who are in
short supply.    (See p* 13.)

The Bureau's practices concerning the imposition of penalties for noncom-
pliance do not consider various factors prescribed in the act, such as t!:
effect that such penalties will have on the operator's    ability to continu
in business and the operator's  history of previous violations.     (See
p* 54.)

Shortages of certain types of equipment have been cited by the Bureau of
Mines as a major cause of noncompliance with health and safety require-
ments. In this connection:

   --The Bureau has made no overall studies of the availability  of equip-
      ment required for compliance with the act and of the normal time re-
      quired to obtain equipment in short supply.  (See pn 56.)

   --The Bureau may have permitted unnecessarily    prolonged noncompliance
      with certain equipment requirements by granting mine operators time
      extensions to obtain a particular  brand that was in short supply
      while an essentially comparable substitute   was readily available,
      (See p. 59.)

   --The Bureau purchased more dust-sampling equipment than it needed and
      thus contributed to a shortage of such equipment and possibly pre-
      cluded many mine operators from establishing   dust-sampling programs
      within the time required by the act.    (See pa 61.)
The team that investigates   mine accidents usually includes Bureau person-
nel who have been involved in prior inspections of the mine or related
activities or who are subordinate to officials    responsible for carrying
out these activities.    In such cases, these personnel, in effect,   are re-
quired to evaluate their own previous performance or that of officials     to
whom they are responsible.    GAO believes that there should be greater in-
dependence in accident investigations.     (See p. 68.)

Bureau inspectors are given    insufficient  criteria   for making decisions on
mine operators'  compliance   with health and safety standards.     GAO be-
lieves that a comprehensive    manual should be issued to provide inspectors
with the necessary criteria    and guidance.     (See p. 71.)

Bureau representatives    said that shortages of qualified     manpowerg certain
equipment, and sufficient     time were the principal    reasons for noncompli-
ance with the requirements of the act.       GAO recognizes that the passage
of the 1969 act has greatly expanded the responsibilities        of the Bureau
and that there are significant      problems in obtaining compliance with its
requirements.   GAO believes,     however, that more could have been done to
achieve greater compliance.

                                  2
R.l?!‘CMBUDATI0flS OR SiJGGEST’.TOJX

     GAOmade a number of proposals to the Secretary of the Interior to
     achieve the improvements needed. (See pp. 38, 55, 64, and 75.)


AGEAU ACTIOak5AND UiTRESOLVED
                            ISSUES

     The Department of the Interior  said that GAO's report was an objective
     appraisal of the Bureau of Mines' effarts  to implement the act in the
     time period covered by the repovk    With one exception, the Department
     said that actions respaasa've to GAO's proposals had been initiated   or
     phned.     (See pp~.39, 55, 65, and 76.)
     The Department disagreed with GAO's suggestion concerning the use of
     people less highly qualified than regular c~im’lmine inspectors to per-
     form health inspwAions.     The Department believes that tt is highly
     desirable that a71 inspectors be capable of enforcing both health and
     safety standards and sf advising operators of changes that are n'eeded
     for compliance with the 'Paws in both res ctsB at al9 lime
     are in the mines, The Department stated also that it expected to re-
     cruit by June 30, 1971, the minimum number of plersonnel to make all the
     inspections  required by the act,
     GAOagrees with the Department's basic views.        It. believes, however!,
     that, should seriolns difficulty    be experienced in meeting recruitment
     goals for regular coal mine inspectors,      the Department should give fur-
     ther consideration   to the possibility   of using 'less qualified  persons La
     make health inspections.
                             CHAPTER1

                           INTRODUCTION

       Pursuant to a request dated August 13, 1970, by the
Chairman, Subcommittee on Labor, Senate Committee on Labor
and Public Welfare (see app. I>, we have reviewed the im-
plementation     of the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act
of 1969 (30 U.S.C. 801 et seq.) by the Bureau of Mines, De-
partment of the Interior.       Our review was directed toward
evaluating    the extent to which the Bureau required mine op-
erators to comply with major health and safety requirements
of the act.

      Prior to the enactment of the Federal Coal Mine Health
and Safety Act of 1969, the Bureau carried      out a coal mine
inspection  and investigation   program under the Federal Coal
Mine Safety Act enacted in 1952. The new act repealed the
1952 act and placed new responsibilities     on the Bureau of
Mines for carrying   out a program of inspection    of coal
mines and gave the Bureau broad authority     to enforce correc-
tion of unsafe or unhealthy conditions.

       The stated purposes of the act are (1) to establish        in-
terim mandatory health and safety standards and to direct
the Secretary    of the Interior   to promulgate improved manda-
tory health and safety standards to protect        the health and
safety of the Nation's      coal miners;   (2) to require that
each coal mine operator and miner comply with such stan-
dards; (3) to cooperate with and to provide'assistance         to
the States in the development and enforcement of effective
State coal mine health and safety programs; and (4) to im-
prove and expand, in cooperation       with the States and the
coal mining industry,     research and development and training
programs aimed at preventing      coal mine accidents    and occ'u-
pationally    caused diseasesa

      In carrying  out its responsibilities     under the act,
the Bureau of Mines conducts investigations       and inspections
to determine the extent of compliance with the mandatory
health and safety standards,    issues violation     notices and
assesses penalties   to miners and mine operators      who violate


                                 4
the law and regulations,         and establishes  and conducts educa-
tion   and  training    prsgr    s to improve health and safe%y con-
ditions    and gracltices     in mfne3.

       IY’he Bureau has five cioal mine hea%%h and safety dis-
tricts    which have subdistrict         and field   offices    to assist
in carrying     out the      rogrms    in   their  geographic     areas,
The Bureau a%slo has          technica% and advisory         support group
and a health grou         in Pi%%sbuq&,            sy%vania o The furus
tims     of the heaIL                                      sampl.es of the
mine’s dus%      submitted    by                          determine    the
amount CPEdus% particles          to which miners are exposed.
  art services     also are pro-vided by the Bureaugs Automati
Data Processing       Section Biocated in Denver, Co%orado,              En
addi%ion, %he act established            the In%erim CcmqLLiance Pane%
which is responsib%e for granting              pemi%s for ncmmqliance
with certain      hleal..%h and safety s%andards.

          The approxi                          enditures for fiscal     years   I.970   #and
1971      for        implemen%                             mvisions    of the Federal
Ccd- Mine Wealth                   and Safety      Act    of’ I.969 are as fo’klows:




Inspectims,    investigations,                      and
  rmescue work
Health and safety research



      We have used in this repcc% %he apgroximate  number of
underground ccaal mines la q3era%icm d.uri   November  %WO,
as being indicative  of the number of ma     ines subject ts
th1e p’Qvisions     of the act,                    The nmber  of mines will ch
continully      because of the                    Q ening of new mines and %he
closing         sf      existing      mines,


         Oar review was gerf~rmed grimi ally at the BureauP3
district     office3   a% M[cvun%Nope9 kkst Virginia,   and Norton,
Virginia.        Qf %he approximately  2,4J5 undergromd    coal mines
in operation       in Ncavember %970, %he Mom% Mope District
Office had enforcement responsibility     for about 580 mines
and the Norton District    Office had responsibility      for about
1,365 mines.   Thus these two district    offices    were respon-
sible for enforcing    the provisions  of the act at about 1,945
mines, or about 80 percent of the Nation's        underground coal
mines.

MAJOR PROVISIONS OF THE ACT

       The Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969
prescribes   interim mandatory health and safety standards ap-
plicable   to all underground coal mines until      the Secretary
of the Interior     promulgates improved standards,     The interim
safety standards became effective      on March 30, 1970, and the
interim health standards on June 30, 1970.

        The act prescribes    a program of coal mine inspections
to be carried    out by the Department of the Interior          to de-
termine whether mines are operating          in compliance with pre-
scribed health and safety standards.           The act provides au-
thority    to the Secretary of the Interior         to enforce correc-
tion of conditions      or practices    that may be detrimental      to
the health and safety of miners.           In addition,    the act re-
quires that representatives        of the mine operators make cer-
tain health and safety inspections.

Health   standards

        The act prescribes    health standards for controlling
respirable     coal dust which is the cause of pneumoconiosis,
known as black lung.        As defined by the act, respirable      dust
particles     are 5 microns or less in size (a micron is one
twenty-five     thousandths   of an inch).   Effective    June 30,
1970, the amount of such dust to which a miner may be ex-
posed cannot exceed 3 milligrams        per cubic meter of air, and
after December 30, 1972, the concentration          cannot exceed
2 milligrams,

      Operators who were unable        to comply with the 3-milligram
standard could obtain from the         Interim Compliance Panel non-
compliance permits for up to 1         year during which time the
standard,   as set by the Panel,       could not be greater than



                                   6
present ) and noise n 3.3~ act provides  that miners be given
periodic  chest X-rays for the detection    of black lung.

Safety      standard.

      The ma-j637rsafety prcwisicms       of the act relate      to roof
conLrcsP, ventilation,      and ekectrical     systems and epipment,
The act also estab’kfshed safety requirements           in the areas
            ustible     materiafs  and rcpek dustikzgp (a> blasting
                     (3) equipment for transporting        plipim2~s, (4.1
emergeazey shelters,     (5) e       icatilans )   and (6)   fire pro-
tection,
      With     regarclt to rcmf   s        act required    that mine
operators      submit 3                    pmve, a suitable       raof
cicPntro1         fcm- each mine by         197cP. ApprcPsJedrmf
CCWlXOl          s are used during the Buk”eaups inspections    lx
tesit     comp%iance with the req-uir       of the pPan*
         The act provides that,       to minimize the danger of explo-
sions and electrocutions,          the electrical     system and eq-uip-
ment meet certain       specifications     established     by the Secre-
tary of the Interior,          In contrast     to roof control   and ven-
tilation     standards which depend upon the approved plans for
each mine9 electrical        requirements      are to be applied uni-
formly to all mines.




                                   8
the Bureau can do more to achieve      a greater   degree of com-
pliance.

     Our detailed   comments on the above matters      follow.

REQUIRED NUMBEROF INSPECTIONS NQT MADE

      The act requires    a complete health and safety        inspection
of each underground coal mine at least four times           a year.
In addition,    the act requires   that mines which (1)      liberate
excessive quantities     of methane or other explosive       gases,
(2) have had a gas ignition      or explosion resulting      in death
or serious injury    during the past 5 years, or (3)        have any
other especially    hazardous conditions     be inspected    at least
once every 5 working days.

      The mines subject to the weekly inspections    are referred
to by the Bureau as hazardous mines, and the weekly inspec-
tions are called hazardous spot inspections,,     A spot inspec-
tion generally  is confined to a single working section of a
mine, and a complete inspection  includes the entire mine.

       The schedule below shows the numbers and types of in-
spections   required and made, from the effective    date of the
act to December 31, 1970, by the two district     offices  in-
cluded in our review.    Safety standards became effective     on
March 30, 1970, and health standards became effective      on
June 30, 1970.




                                 10
  ^,                                                      Number
                                               Required                Per-
 District        Type   of   inspection        (note a>     Made       cent

Mount Hope     Hazardous     spot-(note   b)    2,886       I,'510     52.3
               Regular                          11,737          4.40   25,3
               Health                           1,158            28     2.4
Norton         Hazardous     spot-(note   b)       936          527    56.3
                                                4,098           554    13.5
               Health                           2,732            16       .6

       Total                                   13,547       3,075      22.7

aThe act required   t'f-nat all mines be inspected four times each
 year but did not specify the time intervalls       between inspec-
 tions,  The number of required      regular   and health inspec-
 tions in the above table was arrived        at by prorating  on the
 basis of the effective      dat s of the requirements,
bAlthough the act required     that, beginning on Plareh 30, 1970,
 hazardous mines be inspected at least once every 5 days, we
 noted that the Bureau had not made a final         decision as to
 the criteria  for identifying      hazardous mines      d had not
 b'egun to ma&x the required     inspections  until      y 1970.

        During the same period the two districts        aEso made 980
partial     but representative    inspections  and 1,025 regular   spot
inspections.       These inspections    are not specifically   re-
quired by the act,

       A partial     but representative       inspection    is an inspec-
tion of only a portion          of a mine --usually      one or two wor'king
sections e A regular         inspection    includes tlae entire mine.
'The Bureau used the partial          inspections     as a means of reach-
ing as nany mines as possible with the avaiPabEe inspectors.
The partial      inspections     were discontinued       about mid-1970,
and we were advised that the Bureau did not plan to tike any
additional     impSections of this ty

      A regular spot inspection   occurs when an inspector     en-
ters a mine to clear a violation     cited during a previous     in-
spection and cites another violation,      In one district    we
found that Bureau statistics    on regular   spot inspections   had
been overstated   in that they had included at least 1178
instances where no form of inspection       actually  had been made,
In these cases coal mine inspectors      merely delivered   notices
of violations   to mine operators    for not submitting   required
ventilation   and roof control   plans, but the inspectors      did
not go underground.

      We were informed by district   officials that not all re-
quired inspections    had been made because of a shortage of
coal mine inspectors.




                                12
       A health inspection primarily   invol.ves the collection
of samples to determine whether the amount of respirable
dust in the mine atmosphere to which miners are exposed is
within   the standards set forth in the act.,     In addition   to
taking these samples and determining      whether there is com-
pliance with the dust standards,     an inspector   is respon-
sible for:

      1. Determining    whether the operator             has initiated       the
         required    sampling program.

      2. Determining     whether respiratory           equipment,        such as
          self-rescue    units,  is available          to miners.

      3. Taking    certain   ventilation       measurements.

      4. Checking the operator's            dust   control     program for     its
         overall effectiveness.

      5, Making adjustments       to Bureau sampling            units.

      6. Keeping accurate      notes       and records       of the health
         inspection.

       We found that health inspections         were quite time-
consuming.      The collection    of  a respirable   dust sample re-
quires that a sampling device be worn by, or placed in the
proximity    of, the miner whose atmosphere is being tested.
Bureau procedures provide that samples be collected            for
miners in all coal-producing         sections of the mine and for
10 percent of all workers not in the coal-producing            sec-
tions.     A determination     of the average respirable     dust con-
centration    to which each individual       miner is exposed re-
quires the taking of at least two samples and may require
the taking of as many as five samples.

       A Bureau official     told us that between 5 and 6 inspec-
tor man-days were required to collect         the samples and to
prepare the necessary report for miners in one coal-producing
section and for 10 percent of those miners working outside
of coal-producing      sections.    The total   inspector   man-days
required   to determine whether a mine is in compliance with
the dust standards set forth in the act depend upon the num-
ber of coal-producing       sections in a particular      mine.  For
example, we found that a total        of 19 man-days had been spent
                                    14
                         ,, // ,,1,,,




     HotInt Hope di s-
     that the opera-




15
INADEQUATE SAMPLING AND INSPECTION PROGRAMS
BY MINE OPERATORS

        In addition    to requiring   the Bureau inspections     of
coal mines, the act requires        that the mine operators      make
certain     health and safety examinations,      including    sampling
respiratory      dust and making preshift,     onshift,    and weekly
inspections      of the working areasc     Our review indicated       that
not all the operators        were making these inspections      and that
some inspections       which had been made were not adequate.

Dust sampling

       Effective     June 30, 1970, each coal mine operator was
required     to initiate   a dust-sampling  program to assist the
Bureau in determining       whether the workers in such mine were
being exposed to excessive quantities        of respirable   dust.

      The operator must forward the samples taken to the Bu-
reau's Pittsburgh       field    group where they are measured and
recorded.     Pertinent      information    concerning the samples then
is transmitted     to the Bureau's Automatic Data Processing
Section in Denver where it is processed.               These results     then
are transmitted      to the respective       district   offices    so that
appropriate    action can be taken where operators              are not in
compliance with the required            dust standard.

      Each operator    initially       is required   to collect    and sub-
mit 10 valid samples from each coal-producing              section or
other areas where dust is generated.              The operator subse-
quently is required      to collect      five valid samples each month
in each coal-producing        section.      Where analysis    of the ini-
tial   and subsequent samples shows that the operator              is com-
plying with the applicable          dust standard,     the Bureau may re-
quire that samples be taken only bimonthly.                     -

      We discussed the implementation            of the mine operators'
sampling program with responsible            agency officials    at the
Mount Hope and Norton District          Offices.      We were informed
by district   office   officials     that, as of November 1, 1970,
about 80 percent of the mines in the Mount Hope district
and, as of November 19, 1970, about 75 percent of the mines
in the Norton district       had not implemented fully        the re-
quired sampling program.         Therefore,      although the requirement

                                     16
flor full. implerwentatisn of the operator’s dust sampling pro-
gram was effective June 30, 1978, most operators had not
started      sampling     5 -lmmths %a@er.



         we discu”ssed with officials                 of bioth districts     the rea-
sms why so many opera.tors              had failed          to take   dust   samples,
They informed us that an equipment shortage initiaUy        had
been a major factor but that this problem should no jlonger
exist 10 They infamed    us alsol that many operators   apparently
had realized   that the dust concentrations    in their mines
were abeuve the a$plieable   standard.,   They informed us fur-
ther      that 9 rather    than   ixlftiate      sampling      programs,     be cited
for    ex~ceeding du.st standards,            and be required         to take   samples
during      every   pmduetim       shift      until      the vidations       were
abated, these operators   did not start sampling until     correc-
tive measures had bleen taken tlrp reduce dust concentrations.

          One of the district     officiahs     advised us that, because
of the inftialm expense in pxrc                   equipment fm dust con-
trial and because of a general feeli                that the law might
not be ienforced strictly,         many ogearattxs had achpted a eewait
and se&”      attitea.de, intending      to take only the minimal action
necessary       to cmply with the BureauBs enforcement practices.




        In an d-fort    ta ensure that additional    mine  operators
wml.d initiate       a sampling program, a list    of mines which had
na sampKing pragram was obtained by both district            offices
from the Bureau*s k4utomati.c Data Processing Section in Den-
vmc m bring      the ffrstz week of October 1970, al.1 mine opera-
ton-s determin~e~d not to be sampling were issued a notice of
vjiolatiion  for failure     to initiate a respirabPe-~4sst-sampling
pmgram.

      The notice 041:vii~latim    advised each operator that he
would be given until     October 26, B970, to abate the viola-
ticm by takfrkg the required     samples,  The notice further
provfded., howevelr 9 that, upon the presentation    of evidence
by the (Lpperatc3r to the Bureau@s Washington headquarters     that
the violation   could not be abated within    the time specified
because of unavailability     of equipment or personnel which he
was attempting     to obtain, consideration would be given to an
appropriate    extension of time to abate the violation,

       We were informed by agency officials              that the health
groups had given high priority        to the follow-up          of actions
taken by operators     on the notices      issued for these viola-
tions,    Bureau records showed, however, that,, about 1 month
after these violations       were required      to be abated, 53 per-
cent of the mines in the Mount Hope district                 and 74 percent
of the mines in the Norton district            still     had not instituted
dust-sampling    procedures.     Information         obtained from the Bu-
reau further    showed that, as of March 1, 1972, 22 percent
of the mines in the Mount Hope district               and 42 percent of
the mines in the Norton district         still       had not initiated
dust-sampling    procedures.

         Quality of dust sampling
         by mine operators

       We reviewed the results  of the dust samples taken on
several selected days by coal mine operators      who had imple-
mented the sampling procedures.      We found that more than
55 percent of the samples taken had been determined by the
Pittsburgh    field health group to be unusable for various
reasons, such as (1) submitting    erroneous data with the
sample,, (2) taking samples on shifts    where production  was
less than 50 percent of normal production,      and (3) mishan-
dling sampling equipment which caused the sample to be void.

      During our discussions with district  office  officials,
we were informed that the results  of the samples that we
had selected for review were representative    of normal re-
sults a

      In view of the extent to which such samples are unus-
able, it appears doubtful   that the mine operatorsB sampling
programs have been of much value to the Bureau for enforce-
ment purposes.

safety     inspections

       Our review indicated     that there was a need for mine op-
erators   to place greater     emphasis on making the required

                                    18
8’   “‘1 ,,,,




                preshift   $ onshift   3 and weekly     inspections     to detect condi-
                tjiolns which constituted      Vialations      of mandatory safety stan-
                dards or other csvaaditi.on3 hazardous to persons entering               or
                in the mims,         Our review of selected Bureau reports            on in-
                spectil~ens 0-f hazardous mines showed that mine operators               re-
                peateC3l.y had been issued notices          for similar    violations    wer


                      lEg,~.-eau~officials agreed that many of the violativons
                for which loperators had been cited by the Bureau were of the
                type which the operators'       inspections     sazouad ve identified
                and which sh80uld hawe been corrected          by the operators  prior
                to the Burieau inspections.        We found evidence of the need
                for improvements in the inspection          programs of both Barge
                and small mines,

                       Sa2tfopn 303Cd3(1$ of the act provides that, within
                3 hlouxs im'ed.iately    precedin    the beginning of any shift
                and before any miner enters         he mine, persona designated    by
                the operatcar and certified       by the State as being qualified
                to make inspections      exmir~e the active workin s of such mine,
                This preshift    inspection    is to include test3 for accmla-
                tions Q% methane and for oxygen deficiency;         examination   and
                testing   of the mmf, face, and rib conditions        in such work-
                ing sectioraa;   examinatfcPnzof active roadways, travelways,
                belt conveyars on which men are ncasried, and approaches to
                ab8andoned areas; and tests for proper venti%ation,

                       Sectiioa 303(e] of the act provides that,           at heask once
                during each coaLproducing        shift    or more often if necessary
                for safety 8 the examiner be requfred          to make inspections      of
                each warking secticpn similar        to the pres'hift    inspections.
                En additio~a to requiring     the preshift       and daily inspections,
                sectim     303(f) of the act requires       the examiner to make ex-
                ami~-~ati~ns in specific    ~olclations iin the mine for hazardous
                conditions     at least  cmce each week.

                      The aet requires    that each ioperator provide a program,
                approwed by the Secretary      of the Interior,     for training     pro-
                spective  fax3pectors and fior retraining       the certified    inspec-
                tors needed tie conduct these inspections,

                           The   mine     lolperat~r~   s   examiner   is   required    to   record   the
                results          of his     inspections        in bucks approved       by the
Secretary of the Interior.   If the examiner finds any haz-
ardous condition, he should promptly notify   the operator
and the condition  should be corrected immediately.

       In the preshift   inspection,     he should post a "DANGER"
sign conspicuously     at all points through which persons en-
tering   such place would be required        to pass.   No person,
other than an authorized      representative     of the Secretary     of
the Interior,    a State mine inspector,       or persons authorized
by the operator    to eliminate     the noted hazardous condition,
may enter such place while the sign is posted.             If a condi-
tion noted during the onshift         or weekly inspection    creates
an imminent danger, the operator         is required   to withdraw
all persons, except those mentioned above9 from the affected
area until    the danger is abated.

        Some inspections    performed by the certified       persons de-
signated by mine operators         appeared to have been ineffective
because certain      hazardous conditions     and violations     of man-
datory safety standards,        that the operators     should have been
made aware of by such inspections,         were not corrected      prior
to Bureau inspections.         Bureau inspection    reports which we
reviewed showed that notices had been issued repeatedly               for
violations    of certain    standards which we selected for use
in evaluating     the effectiveness     of the mine operators'      in-
spection programs.

       The types of violations        that we selected were (1) loose
or inadequately    supported roof;        (2) inadequate ventilation;
 (3) failure   to properly    install     and/or maintain line brat-
tice (canvas or similar       material     used in mine passages to di-
rect the flow of air) to provide adequate ventilation;
 (4) coal dust, loose coal, and other combustible              material     ac-
cumulated in active workings or on electrical               equipment;
 (5) inadequate rock dusting (applying             an incombustible     mate-
rial,   usually powdered limestone,          to the mine surface)       to
maintain the required      incombustible        content of the combined
coal dust, rock dust, and other dust; and (6) more than one
temporary splice,     a temporary splice used for more than 24
hours, and/or a temporary splice of an unacceptable                 quality
in a trailing    cable (a flexible        electric    cable connecting
mine equipment to the'power source) for electric               equipment.



                                     20
      We found that in ane hazardous mine the Bureau had per-
formed 24. spot inspections       during the T-month period ended
~eeember 31, 3.970, and had issued to the mine operator          a
total  iof 64 notices    for vialations    of the standards listed
above 9  of which   1.5 were flor  accumulations   of coal dust,
Imse coal Ip and other combustible       materials   and 14 were for
inadequate rock dusting*

        Because the mine was classified      as hazardous under sec-
tion 103(13 of the act, it was subject to a spot inspection
at least once during every 5 working days at irregular            in-
tlerval s o Despitme the mine operators'       apparent knowledge
that the Bureau inspector        could be expected during every 5-
working-day      period,  the inspector  often issued notices for
similar    viol_ations   on consecutive  inspections.    The correc-
thn rsf these violations        did not appear to place any unrea-
sonable demands ion the operator because they were generally
abated during the Bure'au inspectorBs        visits.




         One   mine company official     stated that a planned program
to recruit        and train more persons needed to conduct the in-
spections       was expected to achieve only limited      success be-
cause of       the warkers'   reluctance    to accept the added  respon-
sibility       of this position.

      We b'elieve that, when Bureau inspections      disclose    re-
peated viobations    0% a similar   nature or when violations       ap-
pear to have existed for long periods cpf time, the Bureau
should determine whether such situations        are ateributable     to
the failure    of the mine operator    to provide for adequate
inspections,     to the failure     of the mine operator   to take
prompt corrective       actions on hazardous conditions     noted by
the inspector,or      to differences     in the way in which the mine
operator and the Bureau inspector          interpret  the safety stan-
dards.

        If the Bureau finds that the operator's       inspections     are
inadequate or that prompt corrective        actions are not taken,
we believe that it would be appropriate         to penalize the op-
erator.      If, however,  the Bureau finds   that  there are dif-
ferences in interpretation      of the requirements,      such differ-
ences should be resolved.

       The inconvenience     caused by the need to correct    a known
statutory   violation--   such as the need to replace temporary
splices   in trailing    cables-- and the lack of cooperation    from
the workers do not seem to be sufficient       justifications    for
not complying with specific       requirements of the act.

         The possible     lack of objectivity      by some operators     who
inspect their own mines may cause them to make ineffective
examinations.         For example, we noted one case in which a
worker had been injured           fatally    by a roof fall   in a small
mine.      According to the Bureau's investigation            report on the
fatality,      one of the causes of the accident was the mine op-
erator's      failure   to comply with his roof control          plan which
the Bureau had approved.             The mine operator,     who personally
made the required         inspections     for hazardous conditions,      had
completed his inspection           during the day of the accident with-
out having noted the noncompliance with the approved roof
control     plan.

       The Bureau inspector   who conducted the investigation     of
the fatality     told us that the mine operator had not been
following    the roof control   plan for at least 2 days.     He
agreed that the mine operator        should have noted the hazardous
condition    during his inspections.

      The Bureau issued an order to withdraw all persons from
the affected  area because of the imminent danger of death or
serious physical  harm to the workmen as a result     of condi-
tions found in the mine subsequent to the accident.        Although
a notice of penalty pertaining    to these conditions   also had
been issued to the mine operator,    he was not cited for his

                                     22
ineffectiveness  or indifference              in making the inspections   re-
quired ikr hazardous eonditims            *

      A Bureau official     advised us that its policy was not to
attempt to d~etermine whether violations       of mandatory safety
stamiards   or other conditions     for which the Bureau inspec-
tor issued notices had been present long enough for the op-
erators I mine inspectors     to have noted them and for the op-
erators   to have effe'cted   their correction   prior to the IN-
reau inspectors"    visit.

       We believe that effective        preshift,     onshift,    and weekly
inspections     by the mine operators       could result       in fewer re-
pleated violations      of the type discussed above and in safer
conditicms     for the mine workers.        Therefore     the Bureau should
require    that the mine operators       implement effective         inspec-
tion pncograms. To achieve more effective               examinations     will
require    the operators     to devote more emphasis to recruiting
and training      persons to perform these inspections.              The op-
erators also must provide for the prompt corxection                  of haz-
ardous conditions       brought to their attention          by their in-
spectcPrs if the required       inspections       are to serve their pur-
pose *




                                     23
 DELAYS IN SUBMISSION AND APPROVAL OF PLANS
 FOR ROOF CONTROL, VENTILATION, FAN STOPPAGE,
 AND EQUIPMENT LISTINGS

      The act requires  that mine operators     submit, and the
Bureau approve, p lans for roof control    and fan stoppage by
May 29, 1970, and plans for ventilation     by June 28, 1970,
The act requires   also that operators  furnish    the Bureau, by
May 30, 1970, with a listing   of all electric     equipment in
use in the areas where coal actually    is being mined.      Our re-
view showed that many such plans and listings        had not been
submitted  and approved as of December 1970.

       The act requires       further    that roof control      and ventila-
 tion plans be reviewed by the Bureau at least every 6 months.
 Neither district     had begun this review process at the time
 of our review due to the baclclog of initial              approvals.     We
 found that, until      recently,     the Bureau had done little         to
 induce operators     to submit the required          plans and listings,
 The responsibility       for reviewing       and approving plans had
 been delegated to the district            office  level with little       or
 no direction     from the Bureau headquarters.            More detailed
 comments on these matters follow.

 Roof control    plans

       The roof control    plan describes  the type and spacing of
roof supports used, the procedures for installing          the sup-
ports,   and the sequence of mining to be followed.          Approved
plans are required      to be posted at the mine to inform miners
of the procedures that should be followed        in their day-to-
day operations   and to provide criteria      to be used by inspec-
tors in citing   unsafe roof conditions      or practices.

     Roof falls    are one of the principal   causes of fatalities
in underground coal mining.      During calendar years 1969 and
1970, the number of fatalities     from this cause reported      by
the Bureau was 72 and 77, respectively.       The purpose of the
roof control   plan is to reduce this hazard.

     The schedule below shows the number of plans submitted
and approved by May 29, 1970, and December 7, 1970.



                                   24
                                                  Approximate           Number      Number       Percent    of
                                                     number            of plans    of plans   required    plans
 --District                        Dat’e           requ ired           submitted   approved    , approved

Momt          Hope          Hay    29,     1970             580            355
                            Dec.    7,     1970             580            536                  .,    15
P\lorton                    tky    29,     1970          1,365              75         iTI%
                            Dee,    3,     x970          1,365             8J4        a31a            6:
%nc2udes             both   tentative        and fully      approved     plans.
      We randomly selected and reviewed 80 roof control plans
that had been submitted to the two districts      that we vis-
ited.    We found that plans approved at the Mount Hope dis-
trict contained all the required general information and
generally met the guidelines set forth in the Department's
regulations.    We found that, generally, plans which had
been approved tentatively    at the Norton district   did not
contain all the required general information and appeared to
meet less than half of the guidelines set forth in the regu-
lations.
      In those cases in which the plans did not meet the cri-
teria set forth in the regulations,   there was no evidence
that the operators had shown, as required by the Depart-
ment's regulations,   that resultant roof conditions would not
pose a hazard to the miners. We found that the Norton Dis-
trict Office had fully approved a few plans that contained
all the required general information and that met many, but
not all, of the criteria   set forth in the regulations,
      We were informed by Norton District    Office officials
that they had not followed the criteria    set forth in the De-
partmentvs regulations because, on April 23, 1970, a Federal
judge in Abingdon, Virginia,   issued an order restraining    the
Bureau from enforcing the regulations.      (See pa 43.1 Al-
though the Bureau may have been restrained from enforcing
the regulations,   we are unaware of any reason why the Bu-
reau did not use the criteria    set forth in the regulations
as a guide in reviewing the roof control plans. We were ad-
vised, moreover, by officials    at the Mount Hope District   Of-
fice that it was their policy to use the regulations as a
guide in the approval process,
      Additionally we noted that3 on August 7, 1970, the As-
sistant Secretary, Mineral Resources, made the following
statement before the Subcommittee on Labor, Senate Committee
on Labor and Public Welfare,
     "On March 30, the Bureau of Mines began to make
     inspections under the new law, citing viola-
     tions with reference to the March 28 regula-
     tion.     On April 23, a Federal judge in Abingdon,
     Virginia,    issued an order restraining the Bu-
     reau of Mines from enforcing the regulations,

                               26
        We believe that the situation  described above is illus-
trative    of the need for the Bureau headquarters     to provide
more guidance and direction     to its district  officers    in ap-
proving roof control    plans,

      Shortage    of personnel

      OnDecember 30, 1969, when the 1969 act was approved,
the roof control    group at the Mount Hope District       Office,
whose function   is to review and approve roof control         plans
for each mine in the district--about       580 mines in November
1970--consisted    of a mining engineer and a coal mine inspec-
tor.   At the time of our review, the group had been in-
creased to seven members--a supervisor,       an engineer,     four
coal mine inspectors,     and a secretary.    The supervisor       esti-
mated that a total     of 15 members were required    to fully
carry out their responsibilities      under the act.

        The Norton District      Office roof control   group, with re-
sponsibilities       for about 1,365 mines in November 1970, con-
sisted of five members at the time of our visit            to the of-
fice in November 1970, The group consisted           of a supervisor,
a mining engineer,        and three coal mine inspectors.      The As-
sistant     District    Manager estimated that the roof control
group would be increased to 32 members by January 1, 1972.

      On the basis of the number of roof control      plans which
the roof control   groups in these two districts     have been
able to approve since the effective      date of the act, it is
obvious that neither    district  has had sufficient   staff de-
voted to this activity     to enable them to comply with the re-
quirements for approval of roof control      plans set forth in
the act.

      Informing   mine operators    of requirements

       Both districts  conducted meetings to inform members of
the coal mine industry    about the requirements    of the act.
We were advised that provisions      of the act also had been dis-
cussed with operators    on an individual    basis.  We were in-
formed at the Mount Hope District      Office that most of the
meetings had consisted of a brief presentation       on each func-
tional   area of the act, followed    by a question and answer
period.,    No written material  concerning implementation

                                   28
, / , ,   , , ,   8 ,




                        procedures was pravided.      District    officials  told us that
                        the meetings had been publ.ieized      highly but that they had no
                        a.ssura2-lx32that id.1 mine operators   had beL?xl contacted IGQR-
                        'eerning the new act,     we were told that some of the larger
                        meetings,    such as the ane held in Beekley, West TErginia,
                        had attr~~cted 600 to 8~100people,




                                In July 197Q Mcmnt Epcspeoffiein%s     contacted the mine
                        cqerators    who had not submitted plms and requested th
                        do so0     Except  for rainders    ts -he operators     concerni
                        need LQ submit     rcmf leontro% plms    at such times as Bureau
                        inspectors     made fnspe~ctions at individud     mines, no specific
                        efforts    to infmm the miine operators     tcs submit the pkms




                                                          29
Ventilation       plans

       The ventilation        system and methane and dust control
plan (ventilation         plan) includes a map of the mine and shows
(1) the type and location           of ventilation    equipment and regu-
lators     installed    in the mine, (2) the quantity       and direction
of air flow in the mine, and (3) the methane and dust con-
trol practices        employed in the mine.        The act required mine
operators      to submit, and the Bureau to approve9 such a plan
for each mine by June 28, 1970. Our review showed that no
ventilation       plans had been approved by the required          date.

       The schedule below shows the number of plans submitted
to, and approved by, the two districts   at which we made our
review.

                                 Approx-   Number Number      Percent
                                  imate       of     of           of
                                 number     plans  plans      required
                                   re-      sub-               plans
District             Date        quired    mitted prE:ed      approved

 Mount
   Hope       June 28, 1970          580       120
              Dec. 7, 1970           580       365      41        -7
 Norton       June 28, 1970       1,365         28
              Dec. 7, 1970        1,365        227     144        11

     Department regulations      for ventilation plans list  gen-
eral information    to be included in the plans and criteria
by which the district    managers should be guided in approving
the plans.

       Guidance     from Bureau headquarters

        Department regulations     do not establish     the procedures
for approving the plans, and little        guidance has been fur-
nished otherwise     to the districts    by Bureau headquarters.
We found that the methods for approving the plans and the
content of the plans varied significantly           between the two
districts     that we visited.

      At the Mount Hope district, the approval process            in-
cludes visits  to the mines by members of the district's

                                   30
ventilation  group who observe        the conditions    of the mines
and advise the mine operators         of ariy revisions   necessary to
make the plans acceptable.

     At the Norton district,   the 53~proval process is based
on the emtent   of the pl.ans arid dloes not inelude visits to
the mflraes*

     We randomly selected and reviewed 18 ventiEation    plans
to determine the content of the g%ans at the two districts
that we visitled.

         As was @he case with roof mntrol       plans9 ventilation
  lam submitted to, and approved by, the              IX& PIope district
contained virtually      (311%the provisions    re i-red by the regu-
lations;     whereas, ventilation    plans approved by the Nortcon
district     contained ab'out half of the provisions.         Unlike
the Norton district     vs ractice    of tentatively     or fully     ap-
proving roof contriol. pBans on the basis Of the cxmpleleness
of such plans, howeverg al.1 ventiEation          plans were approved
fUlhY*

        The provislions   to which mnose of the plans approved by
the Ncrrt~gl district     did not r2onfo      related    to (1-3 limits
of the mine                  (23 oil. and gas wel.1~~ (33 abno
conditiolns    0             (4) velocity    of air,    (51 entry
(63 abandoned or pillared         areas9 (7) auxiliary         fans, an
(8) bleeder systms.          Nortm officials       agreed that ve
tion plans which contained very E.ttke information                  had been
appmved,       These officials      informed us that,      in their opin-
i'0l-m p any plan was better      than no Ian at all and that the
inadequate plans would be improved during the G-month review
prQCeSS o As mentioned previously,           neither    district     had be-
gun the review procless because of the baekhog of initial                 ap-
provals.

         Norton district       officials    advised us that another rea-
slcllnth8at the plans had not contained more of the required
infcmnatian      was because al'1 regulations         issued before Movem-
ber 20, PSBJIO,were considered unenforceable               because of a
district      C!QUlrt injunction,        (See pa 43.3

     We were infmormsed by Norton district    officials   that,
subsequent to the lifting   of the injunction      in November 1970,
approved ventilation       plans would contain all the informa-
tion which the regulations         required    the operators   to submit,
such as that information        disclosing     the methane and dust
control    practices  followed.and       showing air quantities    and
velocities     in the ventilation      systems used,

         Other criteria     for approval of ventilation        systems set
forth in the regulations         govern such things as the arrange-
ment of the ventilation         system in mines using multiple         main
fans to prevent the accidental            reversal   of the air flow in
case a ventilating        fan fails     and the methods and materials
for constructing        permanent partitions       to direct   the flow of
air,      The Norton district       took the position     that these
criteria      would be included in ventilation         plans only if
district      officials   considered them to be necessary for spe-
cific     mines.

         In contrast   to the approach followed by the Norton
district,     we were informed by Mount Hope district        officials
that they required       compliance with all the criteria        set
forth in the regulations         except when mine operators     could
demonstrate       that noncompliance would not result      in any less
protection      to the miners.     It appears that the procedures
followed by the Mount Hope district          are more in line with
the intent      of the regulations     which provide that:

      I'*** A ventilation      system and dust control     plan
      not conforming      to these criteria   may be approved,
      providing   the operator can satisfy       the District
      Manager that the results       of such ventilation      sys-
      tem and dust control       plan will provide no less
      than the same measure of protection          to the min-
      ers. "

      In our opinion,       the above differences     in the review
and approval processes and in the content of plans between
the two districts       that we visited    are additional   indications
that district     offices     need more specific  guidance from
Bureau headquarters.

      Mount Hope and Norton       district officials   informed us
that the ventilation    plans     had not been submitted and ap-
proved as required    because     (1) mine operators   lacked the
capabilities   to prepare the      plans and needed assistance

                                    32
from the Bureau; (rZ> mine operatlors were confused about
             km-3 were required    to ccmtainl  especially  since
%he injunction    was Iclibtained agains% the reg7afations;  and
(3) the districts     lacked adequate gersomxd. to assist opera-
tlQlrs and to review and approve plans,



         me ventila%ion   r0u.p a% the I!5cnm$;Hape District
fice was set q in Ap il I.970 with %hree members--a su
  isor, a mining en                        al mine ins             The
  roup is reqmnsib                          and approv      ventikation
pb.ns far aP1 mines in the district--about           580 mines in No-
vabea- 11970, At the time dlf our visit         to the l?kxunt Bo
District    Offke    in Nmm.mber l.970, the ggxmp ha
creased to eight embers--a       supexvis~x-, five e
trainee,    and a coal mine inspector,        me supervisor     esti-
    tes that a t'Q%a% of 30      hers will be required       %Q FlJa1y
carry cm% the groqv s res        sibilities     under the act,

         llx2 ventila%ion     group at the YNorton district       was set
up in July %970 with one member--a ventilation                engineer,
'The grorup is responsible         fox? appraving ventilation      g%ans
fox- abau.% f,m5 mines,           At the txh~ of our review, the
  roup sG.ll+ emmisted of only %hle venti%ation              engineer.    A
district      official    estima% s that a %otaS of %I. members axe
needed in th'e dis%rl.c% an fieEd offices,

     On %he basis of the number cd ventiZa%ion yPans which
%he venti%atiom      grcau s in *these. two districks       have been able
to approve since the effective           date of the act, it is obvionss
that neither    dis%d.ct    ha3 ha'd   sufficient   staff    devoted %o
this activf%y     %CIenable %hem to coanpEy with the requirements
for approva%    cd ventilation      plans se% forth       in the act,

       hformin,g
      ..---         mine operato_p        of requirements

      The efforts     made to   infcam      members lof the coal mine
industry of the reclpiremel:lts          of the act were d.iscussed on
page 28.




                                         33
reminders of the need to submit such plans when inspectors
visited  individual  mines to make inspections,was made by
the Norton district.

      On December 3, 1970, Bureau headquarters        in Washington
sent a directive   to the districts    to immediately    issue no-
tices of violation   to mine operators     who had not submitted
the plans for approval.     It appears that the Bureau is now
making a more concerted effort      to obtain the required    plans.




                                 34
       The act require~d mine operators  tie submit, and the Bu-
reau to app-Pove, fan-stoppage   plans i%r each lxndergrowd
coal. mine by May 29, P9-70, The pEa.n describes     seeps to be
folliowed in the event that a fan used fQlR ventilating      the
mine stops fcar any neason.    Appx-wedi plans are to be posted
on t-he mene bulletin    board SQ that   miners will be aware of
specific  y2vxxxhres    to be followed   in case? of fan stoppage,

     me act states that th’e plan is to provide for inmedf-
ate a’ction by the uoperator to ('115withdraw all persms from
the wtlxking   sectfcPns 0 (2) cut Qff   the power in the mine on a
timely basis,     (33 provsfdle for restoring   power and resming
wcnk if venti~atfm       is lrestored within   a reascmab%e pse3rio
10%tin1e9 ami Gk) p”ovfde fear withdrawing       all. persons from
the mine if ventilation       cannot be restored    within  a reason-
able p’erid    of time,           epartment 3x2 latians published
in the Federal Register       on l-far& 28 9 1930, define the rea-
sionable pelriod of time as niot imre than 15 mi.nutes,

      The scheduae below shows the l-llmiber of plans subnkftted
to, and approv@d by, the tw3 districts     at which we naPldeour
re-Kk?w 0




                                   35



                                         1
       We found that, although many of the required         plans had
not been submitted at the time of our review, the two dis-
tricts  had done little    to induce operators      to submit the
plans.    In  August  1970 the Mount Hope  district     contacted
mines which had not submitted plans and requested them to
do so; however, the Norton district     had made no follow-up
effort   as of the time of our review.

        Although the act and the Department regulations       were
specific     as to what the plans should contain,    we found that
the Bureau had established      no written procedures for review-
ing plans.      The methods for reviewing   the plans and the
contents of the plans differed      in the two districts    that we
visited.

        At the Mount Hope district,          plans are reviewed for con-
formity     with the required       items.    Plans which do not contain
all required        items are disapproved and returned           to the op-
erator,      specifying    what  additional     information    is   needed.
In the Norton district,          plans received are amended by dis-
trict    officials      to include the specific       criteria     required
by the act and the regulations             and are returned      to the op-
erator approved as amended.

         We reviewed a total   of 24 plans in the two districts
to determine the contents of the plans.         Plans approved in
the Mount Hope district       contained all required  items; how-
ever, several plans amended and approved by the Norton dis-
trict     did not.    For example, one such plan at the Norton
district     did not show a reasonable time for restoring       ven-
tilation,      and another plan did not provide for the immedi-
ate withdrawal      of all persons from the working sections.

       Norton officials advised us that plans which did not
contain all the required    items had been approved erroneously.
They advised us that all approved plans would be reviewed
and that those that were deficient    would be revised to in-
clude all necessary requirements.

Listings   of electric--   equipment

        The act required each mine operator to file with the
Bureau's district      offices by M&y 30, 1970, a listing of all
electric    equipment in use in areas where coal actually   was

                                       36
being mined,     The listing is required   to sfmw, among &heti'~'
things,   whether the equipment is rated permissible     and is
maintained   in perml.ssible condition   or t&ether it is mm-
                 Permissible e ipment. is equipment which meets
               ns prescribed b the Bureau to prevent the equip-
ment fram caushg a mine fire or a mine expILosion.

      We have been advised by district    office 0ffieiaRs      that
the listings  can be used far the foli’llowing purposes,

      --lnfomtion     showing the amomt Qf nonpermissible
        equipmea~t u.seBdin industry will be helpful      in deter-
        mining lmw much permissib3.e equipment will       be needed
        in the futur'e to ccmp%y with the act.

      --The listings   can be used in evafua.ting     the reason-
         ableness of appPi.cations    that may be filed    in the
         Cxture by mine open-atoms for extensions       of time for
         using nonpermissible    equipment.

      --The listings  can assist  inspectors  by showing what
         equipment must be m;Eaintained in permissible  condi-
         -kiQl-i e

       We were "cald by a.n official.    of the Bureau"s Health and
S,afety Technical Support Center in Denver that the Bureau
had no reliable     records of the mines which had submitted
the fistings;    however, on the basis of rough estimates       fur-
nished by ithe Bureau, it appeared that about 44 percent of
the mine operators      in the two districts    that we visited   had
filed   the req-uired listings     as of IDecember 31, 1970,

      We were infcmmd that neither     of -izhe districts had
made an effort   to cmtact   mine operators   but that operators
who ha'd not submitted   the listings  had been sent fetters,
reminding them of the need to submit such listings,       by Bu-
reau heaNdquarters during the last week in Noven&er %930.

       bk noted   that, as of De~cember 31, 1970, only 15 notices
of viol.ation   had beexl isssmd for not submitting   the required
kistirngs   in the twc3 districts  that we visited.




                                 37
CONCLUSIONS

      During the first       year since the enactment of the Federal
Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, some progress has
been made in implementing           the provisions    requiring     a pre-
scribed number of coal mine inspections,              the institution      of
a respirable-dust-sampling            program, and the approval of plans
for roof control,      ventilation,        and fan stoppage.

      Much remains to be done, however, to achieve full com-
pliance with these provisions   of the act,   Although we rec-
ognize that the passage of the 1969 act has greatly     expanded
the responsibilities  of the Department of the Interior     and
the Bureau of Mines and that there are significant     problems
in complying with its requirements,   we believe that the De-
partment and the Bureau\can do more to achieve a greater de-
gree of compliance.

RECOMMENDATIONSTO THE
SECRETARYOF THE INTERIOR

     We recommend that the Secretary of the Interior               require
the Director of the Bureau of Mines to:

      --Consider    hiring   and training    persons with lower quali-
         fications    than those of regular      coal mine inspectors
         to specialize     in health inspections     and to thereby
         free more regular     inspectors    to make the more compli-
         cated safety inspections,        if the Bureau is unable to
         hire the necessary more highly qualified         regular   in-
         spectors.

      --Require    the district      offices     to monitor the respirable-
         dust-sampling    activities        which the mine operators
         must perform to determine whether the concentration
         of such dust is within          the limits    prescribed  by the
         health standards and to assist             the mine operators   in
         overcoming problems in their sampling operations,

      --Require     Federal coal mine inspectors    to review the
         adequacy of safety inspections       made by employees of
         mine operators     and to cite violations   where adequate
         inspections    are not made or where mine operators      fail
         to take actions to abate hazardous conditions        found

                                     38
,,,,,:,   ,,,,,,




                     by their inspectors.       If, in evaluating      the adequacy
                     of the operatorIs     inspection,     the Bureau inspector
                     finds that the operatorIs        inspection   was inadequate
                     because of differences       between interpretations      of the
                     safety standard,    the   Bureau    should  consult  with   the
                     mine operator to resolve these differences.

                   --Provide     additional   guidance and direction    to the dis-
                      trict   offices    with respect to information    which roof
                      control. and ventilation      plans are required    to contain
                      and the methods to be used in reviewing         such plans,,

                   --Intensify     the efforts   of the Bureau to recruit     quali-
                      fied persons to review and approve roof control          plans
                      and ventilation     plans.

                   --Increase    the Bureau's efforts     to obtain   compliance
                      with the health and safety requirements         of the act    by
                      assessing appropriate     penalties   to mine   operators    who
                      fail   to submit required   plans, initiate     and carry    out
                      required health and safety programs, or         otherwise    vio-
                      late th'e requirements    of the act.



                  In commenting an our draft report for the Department of
          the Interior,      the Director     of Survey and Review, in a letter
          dated March 29, 1971 (see app, II),           stated that the report
          was an objective      appraisal    of the Bureau of Mines' efforts
          to implement the act within          the period of time covered by the
          report and that, with one exception,           actions responsive   to
          our recommendations had been initiated            or planned,   The Di-
          re'ctor did not indicate        what specific    actions and plans were
          initiated     or formulated,

                 The Department disagreed with our proposal that consid-
          eration be given to hiring     pe'ople with lower qualifications
          than those of regular    coal mine inspectors    to specialize   in
          health inspections,    The principal    reasons given by the De-
          partment for disagreeing    with our proposal follow,

                   --The Bureau expects to recruit,   by June 30, the re-
                      quired minimum number of personnel to make all the in-
                      spections  required by the act.

                                                 39
      --The Bureau is currently     using inspector-trainees  and
         technicians   to assist  in both health and safety in-
         spections   and will continue to do this to the extent
         that it can be done without reducing the quality    of
         the inspections.

      --All    inspectors should be capable of enforcing both
         health and safety standards and of advising operators
         of changes that are needed for compliance with the
         law in both respects at all times that they are in
         the mines.

      We agree with the Department of the Interior         that it is
desirable   that all inspectors     be capable of enforcing      both
health and safety standards and of advising operators            of
changes needed for compliance with the law. We believe,              how-
ever, that,    if the Bureau experiences     any serious difficulty
in meeting its recruitment      goals for regular    coal mine in-
spectors,   the Department should give further       consideration
to the possibility    of hiring   less qualified   persons to make
health inspections.




                                   40
        Since the act became effective,      Bureau of Mines inspec-
tors have made many inspections,        cited mine operators      for
many vLolations     during their inspections,      and required     oper-
at'ors to abate the spelcific violations       cited,     When the in-
spectors made subsequent inspections         of these mines, numer-
ems new violations      were cited and, in many instances,        the
violations    wer'e the same type that previously        had been cited
and abated,      Thus in many instances mine operators         have not
taken the actioqs necessary to ensure full            compliance with
the prescribed     health and safety standards,

      We believe that the aforementioned      situation      is attri-
butable,  at Least in part,    to the  Department's     policies      for
enforcing  health and safety standards,      which in our opinion
have not been as effective     as desirable   and which at times
have been confusing,   uncertain,    and inequitable.

       Th'e Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 re-
quires coal mine operat'ors and miners to comply with pre-
scribed health and safety standards.,       It requires   representa-
tives of the Secretary      of the Interior   to make inspections
and investigations     i-n coal mines to determine,    among other
things,    whether there is compliance with these mandatory
health and safety standards,      and it specifically    provides for
certain    enforcement actions to be taken by the inspectors
when violations     are found,

      The existence   of any condition   or practice    in a coal
mine that reasonably     can be expected to cause death or seri-
ous physical    harm before such condition   o,r practice   can be
abated is considered     an imminent danger,

      If an inspector  finds such a condition    or practice,     he
must issue an order withdrawing    the miners from the mine or
from the affecteNd part of the mine,     If the violation     has
not created an imminent danger, he is required       to cite the
mine operator   for the viokati'on and to allow the violator       a
reasonable time to abate the violation,       If the viohtion      is
not abated by the en'd of that period and if the inspector

                                     4%
does not find that the period should be extended, he is re-
quired to order a withdrawal  of all workers from the area
affected by the violation.

        If an inspector  finds a violation     of a standard which
does not cause an imminent danger but which could contribute
significantly     to any mine hazard and if he finds that the
violation     is due to an unwarrantable    failure    of the operator
to comply with the standards,       the inspector    is required   to
issue a notice of his findings        to the operator.

         If, during the same inspection      or any inspection       within
90 days after       issuance of the notice,    an inspector      finds an-
other violation        which is also due to an unwarrantable         failure
to comply, he must order the miners withdrawn from the mine.
Once a withdrawal        order has been issued for an unwarrantable
failure,     the inspector     on subsequent inspections     must issue
additional      withdrawal    orders until  no similar   violations       are
disclosed.

      The act authorizes     the Secretary  of the Interior     to as-
sess civil   penalties   against coal mine operators     for viola-
tions of health and safety standards and against any miner
who violates   the mandatory safety standards relating        to smok-
ing or the carrying    of smoking materials    underground.      Crim-
inal penalties    also are provided for willful    violations     of
health and safety standards.

      The manner in which       the Department has implemented its
enforcement powers under        the act is discussed in the follow-
ing sections.




                                     42                                   ..    ..
CHdNGES IN ENFORCEMENTPQLIQ

          On March 28, 1970, the Secretary       0% the Interior      pub-
lished       in the Federal. Register   extensive    ccpal mine safety
regulations        for implemlenting and supplementing       the interim
standards       provided in the act.     In  addition,    the   Federal
Register       contained the Department regulations         which described
the organization,         funetfon,  and procedures--ineluding        proce-
dures      fior asf5essing pena%ties-- of the Board of Mine Operations
AppealLs in the Department of the Interior.

        The procedures pr'ovided that, when a Bureau inspector
issued a notice of viollation,      the mine operator or miner
coded make a penalty payment in accordance with a scheduke
inc%ude'd in the regulations.        If payment was not received
within    30 days after receipt    of the notice of vioLetion     by
the mine operator or miner, the pro'cedures provided that
proceedings     for the assessment of penalties      woul
tiated    upon the Bureau's filing      a copy of the notice of vio-
Ilwation with the Board.     In determining    the amount of pen-
altyo the pmcedures providia3d that the Board wlclruld disregard
the penalty s~cheduEe contained        in the DepartmentOs regula-
tions and wcould assess the penalty after considering         certain
factors    specified   in the act.

     On March 30, 1970, the Bureau began to make inspections
under the new law and cited violations    in accordance with
the Degartment”s March 28, 1970, regulations.

        The U.S. District    Court for the Western District     of
Virginia    at Abingdon issued a temporary restraining       order on
April 23, 19710, relating      to the DepartmentPs enforcement
piI. icy a The court order, as subsequently      modified on
April    30, 1970, restrained     the Secretary of the Interior    from:

         --Enforcing  the Department"s safety regulations   pub-
            lished in the March 28, 1970, Federal Register.

         --Assessing penal-ties  and accepting payment in accord-
            ance withthe penalty   schedule published in the
           March 28, 1970, Federal Register.

         --Enforcing    the safety   standards of the act to the ex-
            tent that   violations   could not be abated b'ecause of

                                     43
        the lack of technology;         the unavailability     of cer-
        tified,    registered,    or qualified    personnel;    or the
        unavailability       of materials   or equipment.

      The court pointed out, however, that nothing in its
order should restrain     the Department from enforcing       by any
legal means-- fines,    penalties,  or closure--the    correction
of any condition    which would result     in imminent danger to
persons working in the mines.       Additionally,   the court order
did not prohibit     the Secretary  from:

      --Enforcing      the safety standards of the act to the ex-
         tent that operators        were not prevented from compliance
         because of the lack of technology;           the unavailability
         of certified,      registered,   or qualified    personnel;     or
         the unavailability        of materials  or equipment,

      --Enforcing     health   standards   of the act and Department
         regulations.

      --Initiating  proceedings with the Board of Mine Opera-
         tions Appeals for the assessment of penalties.

       On May 7, 1970, the Department published in the Federal
Register    a revision to the penalty   schedule set out in its
regulations    on March 28, 1970.    (See pa 50.1

         On April     24, 1970; May 1, 1970; and May 22, 1970, a
Bureau headquarters          official   issued instructions     to the
district      offices    to be followed     during the period of the
temporary restraining           order for inspection     and enforcement
of the act and departmental           regulations.      The May 22, 1970,
instructions,         however, made no reference      to the May 7, 1970,
revised penalty schedule.

        The May 22, 1970, instructions,     which rescinded the
instructions      issued on April 24 and May 1, basically     pro-
vided that mines be inspected only for compliance with the
safety standards of the act and that notices of violation
and orders of withdrawal       be issued where necessary.     The in-
structions     provided,  however, that, where violations     could
not be abated because of the lack of technology;          the unavail-
ability     of certified,  registered,   or qualified  personnel;
or the unavailability      of required   equipment or materials,    an

                                     44
informational   , rather   than a violation,      notice be issued to
the violator    advising him of the violation         and that no pen-
alty be assessed.       The instructions     provided that,    in these
instances,    no time be set for abatement of the violation.

      The instructions      provided that the following    notation
be added to violation       notices  send withdrawal orders subse-
quently issued.

      “A civil    penalty   will   be assessed   pursuant     to
      Section    109 of the Act.”

The instructions      provided,    however, that,    until   revised pro-
cedures for the assessment of civil          penalties     could be es-
tablished,    notices    and orders not be filed       with the Board of
Mine Operations      Appeals for the assessment of civil          penalties
under the act,       This instruction     continued    in effect    until
November 1970.

       On November 4, 1970, the Deputy Director,       Health and
Safety,   advised the district     managers that the Department
would begin immediately      to institute  proceedings   for assess-
ment of civil    penalties   under the act for orders of with-
drawal and that procedures      for assessment of penalties    would
be announce’d soon e

       On November 11, 1970, the court’s        restraining   order was
dlissolved,     On the basis of this action,       the Bureau head-
quarters    issued the following   instructions       to its district
managers .

      rll.   Safety inspections      are to be made only under
             the statutory    provisions   of the Federal Coal
         .   Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, and no-
             tices of violation      are to be issued for each
             violation   of the statutory    provisions.

      “2.    Informational  notices    or warnings    shall    no
             longer be issued.

      1’3. Where the violation     exists   because of lack
           of technology 8 or the unavailability        of
               .
           equlpm8ent, p ersonnel,   or material    at the
           time of the inspection,       the notice   shall
            contain a determination   that the operator was
            not at fault.   The basis for this determina-
            tion shall be documented on the notice.

      "4.   The notice of penalty form is not to be used.
            No schedule of penalty is presently      in effect,
            and you are authorized     to inform the operator
            orally  that his liability    for a penalty will
            be determined when the Department announces
            its policy for assessment of penalties.

      "5.   The policy for issuance        of closure    orders    re-
            mains unchanged.

      "6.   Upon issuance of new regulations    and the es-
            tablishment  of an assessment policy,   further
            instructions  will be issued."

       On November 18, 1970, the Department published                  in the
Federal Register      an amendment to its enforcement regulations,
deleting     the penalty schedule.          On November 19, 1970, a
Bureau headquarters         official     advised the district      offices
that,    during inspections          subsequent to November 11, 1970,
notices of violations           should be issued when it was found
that a violation      still      existed that had been cited previously
on an informational         notice.      Additionally,    the instructions
provided that,     if the specified          time for abating a viola-
tion was extended, the particular               reasons for the extension
should be specified.

        On January 16, 1971, the Department published    in the
Federal Register     amended procedures for assessing civil    pen-
alties.     The regulations  which set forth the guidelines    for
assessment of penalties     included a schedule showing a range
of dollar    amounts of various types of penalties.     (See
P* 53,)




                                     46
            In August 1970 the Assistant    Secretary, Mineral Re-
      sources, informed the Subcommittee on ILab~r~ Senate Committee
      on Labor and Pub3_ic Welfare,    af the progress being made to
      implement the ITederal Coal Mine Health and Safety, Act 'of
      1949 (D The Assistant  Selcretary stated that:

            T%e Bureau has cited more than 13,000 violations
            of the safety standards in the law and has re-
            quired,  or is re'quiring,     all of these violations
            to be abate'd in a reasonable time, but it has been
            necessary for the Bureau to issue withdrawal          orders
            in only 179 mines - 120 for imminent danger and
            59 flor failure     to abate a violation    in a reason-
            able time.      Generally I the conditions    cited in
            these orders have subsequently         been abated rather
            quickly   after   the orders were issued to permit the
            mines to reopenlml'

             Although the unsafe conditions          noted by the Bureau in-
      spe'ctors might have been quickly          abated, our analysis      of
      subsequent inspe'ction       reports   indicated    that, when the Fed-
      eral inspectors     returned     to mines previously      inspected,    they
      often had found many violations           of health and safety stand-
      ards o including    violations      of the same standards previously
      cited*     To achieve the objectives        of the health and safety
,*,
      standards,    the Bureau should require mine operators             to take
I.    the necessary actions to ensure compliance with such stand-
      ards on a day-to-day        basis,

            To determine the extent of implementation            of the safety
      standards of the act, we examined 438 inspection             reports  for
      16 mines in each district        which the Bureau had classified        as
      hazardous,     We found that violations         had been cited on 366
      of these inspections,         More importantly,     261 of the inspec-
      tions found violations        which had been cited at 'least once on
      a prior   inspection,      Although action apparently       had been
      taken to correct      the original    deficiency,    action was not
      taken to preclude its recurrence,            In some cases the viola-
      tions wlere reported     time and again,

               For example, of the 16 hazard'ous mines in the Nortcln
      district     for whi'ch we reviewed inspection  reports, 12 had
repeated violations      involving   excessive accumulations     of
combustible    materials    and inadequate rock dusting,     which are
especially    dangerous conditions     in mines.  The operator of
one mine was cited for excessive accumulations         of combustible
materials   in nine of 20 inspections.

        In the Mount Hope district,      we found that violations
for excessive accumulation       of combustible    material     and inade-
quate rock dusting were cited repeatedly          in 15 of the 16
mines,     The operator of one mine was cited for excessive ac-
cumulations      of combustible  materials    on 13 of 15 inspections,
including     eight consecutive    weekly inspections.       Of 963 vio-
lations    cited at the 32 mines, nearly 560, or over half,           were
repeat violations,       About 230 of the violations        involved ex-
cessive accumulations       of combustible   materials   or inadequate
rock dusting.

       At the Mount Hope district,     our test of 16 hazardous
mines showed that, from July 14 through November 23, 1970,
only 17 withdrawal   orders for imminent danger had been issued
closing single sections of mines for from 1 to 16 days; an
average closing was for about 3 days.         In nine of the with-
drawal orders,   the section was closed 1 day or less,        At Nor-
ton, from May 28 through November 16, 1970, 10 withdrawal
orders were issued closing      single sections   of mines for from
1 to 3 days.    Nine of the withdrawal     orders were for periods
of 1 day or less.

        Our review of the inspection      reports on 32 hazardous
mines showed that, despite the fact that 58 percent of the
violations     cited in the reports were repeat violations,         the
Mount Hope district     had issued no notices      for unwarrantable
failure    to comply with the act and no withdrawal        orders on
that basis and that the Norton district          had issued 11 such
notices    and three withdrawal    orders,

       The Assistant  District    Manager of the Mount Hope district
told us that the reason for not issuing notices and withdrawal
orders was to give mine operators       time to become familiar
with the act.     He stated that, had the provision      of the act
relating   to unwarrantable    failure  by operators   to comply
with the act been enforced from the beginning,         very few mines
could have remained open. He agreed, however, that enforce-
ment of this provision      would increase the effectiveness     of
the act,
                                    48
       We believe that it would have been especially   appro-
priate   for the Bureau to have made greater use of the author-
ity to close mines for unwarrantable    failure to comply with
the act during the period that the Secretary    was restrained
from assessing penalties   on the basis of a penalty schedule.
AMENDMENTTo PENALTY SCHEDULEIN MAY 1970

       Despite the court order on April 30, 1970, specifically
restraining     the Department from assessing penalties       and
from accepting payments in accordance with the penalty            sched-
ule of payments set forth in its regulations,           the Department
on May 7, 1970, amended its penalty         schedule by reducing the
penalties    for initial   violations   occurring   between March 30,
1970, and September 30, 1970.         The Department accepted pay-
ments made voluntarily      by mine operators,     which were based
on either    the March 28, 1970, or the May 7, 1970, penalty
schedule.

       The amounts of payments for initial        violations were re-
duced to one twenty-fifth    of the former       amounts, as shown
below.

                                       Amounts of penalties
                                March 28, 1970,     May 7, 1970,
  Nature   of violation        Federal Register   Federal Register

Violation    or violations
   resulting    in imminent
   danger                                $500               $20
Violations    caused by
   unwarrantable    failure
   to comply with the
   act                                    100                 4
All other violations                       25                 1

Under the amended penalty schedule, serious violations               of
the act relating     to such matters as deficiencies          in roof sup-
port 9 excessive accumulation     of coal dust, and electrical
and ventilation     deficiencies  would result      in penalties     to
the operators    of only $1 for each violation,         provided that
the inspector    did not determine that such violations           had
caused an imminent danger to the miners or that the viola-
tions had been caused by unwarrantable         failures     to comply
with the act, in which case the penalty would be $20 or $4,
respectively.

      We do not believe that such token penalties  for viola-
tions of the act where unavailability  of equipment or


                                    50
personnel was not a problem in abatement reasonably   could
have been expected to induce mine operators  to comply with
the act.

        We discussed this amendment with Department and Bureau
officiaks;     however, they i~oul.dnotexplain    the reason for its
issuance in view of the cou.rt"s order against the use of a
penalty     schedule for assessing and collecting     penal..ties.
After the penalty schedule was revised,        I.3 companies
total    of $519 far 519 violations     issued from April 8,
through Nwember 5, 1970. Qn the other hand, 6 companies9
   parently    using the March 28, 1970, schedule,       aid a total
of $16,875 for 656 violations       issued between March 30, 1970,
and June 25, 197Ip.

      Although the Secretary   was restrained    from assessing
and collecting   penalties  under the March 28, 1970, penalty
s'chedule , the Bureau accepted payments made voluntarily       by
the mine operators    on the basis of violations     cited.

      The           and inequity
              confusim            resulting from the amended
penallty schedule can be seen from the facts that some mine
operators  made payments based on the more lenient  amended
schedule and others made payments based on the original
schedde e

       For example, one operator       submitted a check for $35 at
the end of September 1970 for 35 violations            cited from
April. ap 2197'0, to April 22, 1970, apparently          using the
amended schedltle w In another instance an operator,             appar-
ently using the original       penalty   schedule,    submitted a
check for $775 in payment of 31 violations            cited from
April. 13, 1970, to April 28, 1970.          In still    another fn-
stance an operator made paym'ent in the amount of $125 for
five violations     cited on June 25, 1970, apparently          using the
original   penalty    schedule, even though the revised schedule
had been published      on May 7, 1970.

SUSPEEJSION       OF     ASSESSMENT
                                 --   OF   FINES

       During th'e period April 313, 1970, to November 11, 197Q,
the Dep~artment was restrained    from assessing and coll'ecting
penalties    by use of a penalty schedu%e. Nothing in the re-
straining    orders however0 precluded assessment of
penalties  by the Board of Mine Operations   Appeals of the
Department of the Interior.    We were advised by Department
officials  that, during the period April 30, 1970, to Novem-
ber 11, 1970, no penalties   had been assessed by the Board,
even though thousands of violations    had been cited by the
Bureau inspectors  during this period.

        On November 18, 1970, the Department revised its regu-
lations    to delete the penalty       schedule.    The amended regu-
lations    provided that the assessment of penalties          be ini-
tiated    upon the Bureau's filing       with the Board a copy of
the notice of violation        or an order of withdrawal.        The
Board is required       to give notice of the filing      to the mine
operator,     and the mine operator      is required   to file an an-
swer, setting      forth his position,      within  20 days after the
date of service of such notice.

        The regulations      provide that,    in determining       the amount
of penalty to be assessed against an operator,                the Board
consider the operator's          history of previous violations,          the
appropriateness      of such penalty to the size of the business
of the operator       charged, whether the operator has been neg-
ligent,    the effect     on the operator's      ability    to continue in
business,     the gravity     of the violation,       and the demonstrated
good faith of the operator charged in attempting                 to achieve
rapid compliance after notification             of a violation.       The
Board is authorized        to conduct hearings in making its deter-
mination of the penalty to be assessed against an operator.

      We were advised by Department attorneys        that, late in
calendar year 1970, the Bureau had initiated         approximately
60 proceedings    to assess penalties     against mine operators
under the above procedures.      Hearings reportedly       were con-
ducted in only one of these cases.         The Department attorneys
stated that these proceedings       proved very time-consuming
and, at times, required    the presence of Bureau inspectors,
which interfered    with and reduced the time that they were
available   for inspecting   mines.     They further   stated that,
if an operator exhausted all appeals of the Board's decision
available   to him, as much as 5 years might be required          to re-
solve one case.

     The Board issued       an order on February 1, 1971, to sus-
pend the approximately       60 penalty assessment proceedings

                                     52
pending before it, to permit the Bureau's Assessment Officer
to determine the liability        of the operators      for civil   pen-
alties   and the amounts of penalties       to be prop'osed in accor-
dance with regulations       promulgated by the Secretary         on Jan-
uary 16, 1971. Even though         the Department had been con-
sidering    the revision   of its procedures      for assessing pen-
alties   before the district      court dissolved     its restraining
order on November IL, 1970, over 2 months had passed before
the revised regulations       were published,



      The Department"s       amendments to the procedures   for as-
sessment of penalties        were published  in the Federal Register
on January 16, 1971.         These procedures provide,   in part,
that:

            itEaeh Notice of Violation   and order of With-
      drawal issued. on or after March 30, 1970, wi%l be
      reviewed by an Assessment Officer     who is appointed
      by and responsible   to the Director,   Bureau of
      Mines p to determine the liability    of operator or
      miner for a civiP penalty an the+ mount of pen-
      alty to be prOpOSed.,"
               *       ;n:          *           *            ?k

             YEach proposed assessment shall be made after
      taking into consideration     (1) the operator's      his-
      tory of previous vioktions,        (2) the appropriate-
      ness of the penalty to the size of the operator's
      business,    (3) whether the operator was negligent,
      (43 the effect    on the operator's     ability  to con-
      tinue in business,     (5) the gravity    of the viola-
      tion,   and (6) the demonstrated      good faith   of the
      operator   in attempting   to achieve rapid com-
      pliance after notification     of violation,"
           *           *            *           9-t          *


            ftThe amount of the civil     pen,aEty proposed
      shall be within    guidelines   established   by the
      Secretary   *** and revised periodically      in the
      light   of experience gained under the Act, except

                                    53
      that a particular violation may warrant proposing
      a civil penalty in an amount more than or less
      than the range set forth in the guidelines."

      The Assessment Officer    is assessing proposed penalties
for all violations   and withdrawal   orders which have been
cited since May 1, 1970, for which no payment has been re-
ceived,   As of February 19, 1971, the Bureau had mailed 584
proposed orders of assessment, totaling       over $1 million,  for
9,465 violations   to mine operators    in three States.

       The Assessment Officer       has established    his own schedule
for assessing these penalties.           The amounts in the Assess-
ment OfficerIs      schedule are    generally   less than those in the
guideline     for assessment of      penalties    set forth in the De-
partment's     regulations  which    became effective      January 16,
1971, but they are more than         those in the DepartmentIs
March 28, 1970, regulations.

        The penalty schedule used by the Assessment Officer
gives little     or no consideration     to most of the six factors
which are set forth in the regulations          quoted above as well
as in the act.      For example,     the amounts   of penalties     in his'
schedule do not take into consideration          the effect     that such, I
penalties    will have on the operator's      ability   to continue      in 1
business,    the demonstrated     good faith  of the operator       to      '
achieve rapid compliance,       whether the operator has been neg-
ligent,    or the operator's    history   of previous violations.

        With regard to the operator's      history  of previous vio-
lations,     we have been advised by the Assessment Officer        that
this factor      is not being considered now because the period
March 30, 1970, to April       1, 1971, is being considered      as an
educational      period for the operators     to become familiar   with
all the provisions      of the act.    The history   of an operator
will be considered on the basis of his compliance after            the
initial     assessment for violations     committed after April    1,
1971--l year after the safety standards became effective            un-
der the act.

       The Assessment Officer  stated that assessment of pen-
alties   was not being proposed for violations   issued between
March 30 and April 30, 1970, because these violations       cited
the regulations   issued in the Federal Register    of March 28,
1970, which the April 30, 1970, court order restrained        the
                                     54
Department from enforcing,       This restraining     order, however,
subsemquently was dissolved.      We see no v&lid reason for dis-
tinguishing   between violations     cited prior    to the restrain-
in,g order 'and those cited afterward,      except for those vio-
Sations cited prior to the restraining         order which could not
have been avoided bec'ause of the u.navai%ability         of equipment,
material,   personne%, or technology,



        We believe that the Bureau's enforcement practices          were
not as effective      as they could have been in inducing mine
orperators to take the necessary actions to ensure full. com-
pXiance with the act,        3n this regard we believe that the
lhmeau should assess sufficiently         large penalties   to provide
this inducement and should exercise greater use of its au-
thority    to issue withdrawal     orders a ainst mine bperators
who repeatedly     fail  to comply with the act.       We believe that
mine operators     have had sufficient      time to beco
with all, the requirements      of the act and that the operators'
history    of previous violations      should be considered     in estab-
 llishing the amounts of the penalties.

     We believe that, contrary    to past practices,  the Depart-
mmt should apply its enforcement policy uniformly       and equi-
tably to akl mine operators    who do not comply with the act,




     We recommend that the Secretary  of the Interior           revire
the Director of the Bureau of Mines to:

      --Consider,     in establishing   the amounts of penalties,
         the factors    re'quired by the act, such as the operators"
         history   of previous violations,

      --Exercise    greater use of the authority    to close      mines
         when,operators    repeatedly violate   the act,,


      The Department of the Interior   has stated that         plans
have been formulated  or action's have been initiated          that are
resgmnsive to the recommendations    set forth above,          LsenE!app,
icI.>
                                 5s
                              CHAPTER4

      NONCOMPLIANCEWITH LAW DUE TO SHORTAGESOF EQUIPMENT

      Shortages of certain    types of equipment have been cited
as a major cause of noncompliance with various health and
safety requirements   of the act.     As previously   discussed,
the April 1970 injunction     against the implementation     of the
Department's   safety regulations    was granted partly    because
some of the equipment and technology      necessary to implement
the act were not available.

        Bureau headquarters   notified    the district    offices   on
April 24, May 1, and May 22, 1970, of the procedures to be
followed when violations      existed because equipment was not
available,      Bureau headquarters    stated that, when such con-
ditions    were found, the operator was to be informed of the
condition     in writing  but that notices of violation         and pen-
alty were not to be issued.         The two districts     that we vis-
ited implemented such procedures,         but the determination      of
whether necessary equipment was available           was left to the
judgment of the inspectors.,

       Certain equipment shortages,      although less of a problem
now than when the act was passed, continued to preclude op-
erators    from complying with certain      requirements,      We found
that some of these problems might be solved if the Bureau
required     operators   to substitute  equipment which was readily
available     for equipment which was not readily        available,
We found also that the Bureau apparently           had contributed    to
the earlier      equipment shortage by overbuying respirable-
dust-sampling      equipment and thus unnecessarily       had reduced
the quantities       of such eqzripment available    for purchase by
mine operators.

AVAILABILITY    OF EQUIPMENT

       We were informed by district   officials at the two dis-
tricts  visited   that numerous items of equipment necessary
to comply with the requirements     of the act were in short
suPPlY* They also informed us that some necessary equip-
ment, such as automatic brakes, had not yet been developed.


                                  56
       On June 22, 1970, the Mortm district          prepared a list-
ing of 23 equipment items whfeh were either urkavailabLe or
in short supp%y; this shortage preclluded fuIU enforcement
of varicms requirements      of the act,     The kisting    incbuded
items of e             such as perscmal. samp%ing devices far
respirable   dust, methane mmitors,        au.tomatic circuit    break-
ers, f%me-resistant     trailing     cables, fire proteeticm       de-
vices (deluge water sprays and foam generators),            automatic
brakes or speed reducticm       gears, and self-resc.xlers     (B-hour
type) e

       At the twts districts that we visited,   we reviewed a
total   of 63 repcPrts 05 re           ections made in September
1970 to determine what types elf required     equipment were not
available,

         'We found that 46 af the 63 reports contained violations
of various provisiions            lcsf the act which were attributed         to
the unavailability            or short sup     l.y iaf equipment.      These   46
reparts      indicate       that there was a totaIL of I.68 viaSatiolns
invoaving 19 dif e-rent items of equi
equipment cited mmt aften as being
             irable-cast-s'amp%ing         equipment--cited      in
(23 sell-rescuers         --cited      in 30 reports,     (3) autcpmatic eir-
euit breakers ---cited          in 19 reports,       and (4.1 sanitary    toilet
facilities      --cited     in 16 reports,

      On October 1, 19713, the Assistarnt    Director   for Coal,
  he Health and Safety advised the district         managers that
there had been considerable    ineonsist~ncy     in the way that
inspectors   determined whether necessary eSqwipment was avail-
able,    He stated that:

       w** Effective     immediatelay, concrete evidence of
       unavai%ability    of equipment,   such as pum5has.e
       orders or re~isitions,       muse be shown by the op-
       erator as roof of unavaFEabi%i.ty.       Further p
       evidesxe must be shown that an effort      has been
       made to purchase such equigmnent from mxe than
       one supplier,   if more thnra me supplier     exists,‘P

       In November I.970 the Bureau. revised             its     policy   r'egard-
ing   the   fssuance   of notices      of vidations       that     were
attributable      to equipment shortages.        Rather than issue
informational-type       violation    notices   in these situations,
the inspectors      were instructed      to issue regular violation
notices,       These notices gave the operator a specified           amount
(of time to obtain the equipment,            If such violations    were
not abated within the time specified            and if no extension was
granted,     the inspectors      were required    to issue a withdrawal
order,

       A December 15, 1970, memoranda from Bureau headquarters
instructed    district     personnel that, on the basis of a survey
of the availability        of ground-check monitors (electrical
equipment) needed for compliance with the act, it appeared
that production        of such equipment would not be expedited
without    assurance of firm orders.

      The memorandum then directed        that no additional     exten-
sions of time would be granted for compliance with the appli-
cable sectians of the act requiring          ground-check   monitors
and that notices     of violation    were to be issued, with a de-
termination    of no fault    due to unavailability,      when it was
determined during an inspection        that such equipment was not
in use,     A notice issued for a violation        where there is a
determination     of no fault    due to unavailability     of equipment
does not subject the operator to having a penalty assessed
against him for such violation.

         A copy of the survey that had been performed of the
availability       of ground-check monitors was enclosed with the
Bureau headquarters        December 15, 1970, memorandum to the
district     offices.     Although the survey showed the approximate
quantities      that suppliers    had indicated   would be available
in December 1970 and March 1971, the memorandum did not
specify,     as a guide to the inspectors,      the approximate    time
required     to obtain this equipment,

      We were advised by Bureau headquarters       officials      that
no overall   studies had been made regarding     the availability
of all types of equipment required      for compliance with the
act and the normal lead time required       for obtaining      equip-
ment in short supply.     We were advised that the establish-
ment of a reasonable time to abate a particular          violation
was the responsibility    of the various inspectors        because of
their  personal 'knowledge of equipment availability.

                                    58
      To determine whether shartages in the supp3_y of eguip-
ment were valid bases for noncompliance with some sequire-
merits of the act, we contacted   several sla liers and dis-
cussed the avaikability   of equipment,

       We were infiomed by one suppkier that a particular
bx%md Qf circuit     breakers was in short supply and that the
oLlt%Qok fcsr an increased sqg%y in the near future was not
glaod,     e s,upplAer stated that he had been unsuccessful      in
                  ly increased by eontaet~ng the manufacturer.
                  ad several unfilled    orders which he had re-
ceived from mine operatsrs      as early as Apri% 1970.   Delivery
dates to these ~pekators for the circuit-breakers       had been
extended severd      times, and, at the time of our contact,     the
expected delivery      date was Aprill 2, l.971.

        e also contacted a supplier       o.f another brand of cir-
        reakers and found that these items were available         with
ILittle  cpr no lead time,      e discussed with the supplier      of
the brand of circuit      bre    rs which was available    and with
the head of the e%ectrical       group at the l?%xmt Ho
the possibility     of interchanging    the two brands of circuit
breakers,

      We were igllformed that the two brands of circuit      breakers
usuaS3.y could be interchanged     with onEy m2nor modifications
that were necessary because of differences      in sizes and
shapes e 'IABewere infomed    also that, when one brand (the
brand which was available)     was used, it must be encLosed in
a molded casing to meet Bureau standards,      whereas the other
brand was manufactured     in accordance with the standards.
The district   official  estimated the cost of such a modifi-
cation at about $60, The purchase prices for the most com-
mlonly used models of the brand which is in short supply
range fr'om about $l7Q to $2513, and comparable models of the
av~i8abI.e brand range from about $I.50 to $200.

                e district  officials      informed us that no dleci-
sion had been made as to whether, as a genera% policy,          they
shcwlld require   operators to substitute       one brand or ty
availab3.e eqsJlipment for a brand or type that was not avail-
able o The Mount Hope district        r~mger    agreed that the

                                  59




                                           7
possibility   of substituting      other items of available  equip-
ment should be examined.       We were also informed that the
Bureau might establish      a policy regarding   this matter in
the near future.

      Although our limited      inquiry  into this matter identified
only one type of circuit       breaker that may be modified to
help alleviate    the shortage of these items, we believe that
the Bureau should undertake a study to determine whether
there are similar    situations     with regard to other types of
equipment now in short supply.




                                 60
      In our opinion,   the Bureau was at least partially             re,
spmible    for creating    a shortage of respirable-dust-
s   King equipment,

       We were informed by 'offfcials         in both the Mount Hope
and the Norton districts         that shcsrtages of dust-sampling
equipment had caused many operators             to be in violation       of
       revision    of the act which recpired         mine operators      to
establish     dust-sampling     programs in al.1 mines.        During our
review iof 63 reports on inspections           made in September 1970,
we found that 33 informtionak-type             violaticm    notices had
been issued to the operators          for failure      to have dust-
SaDpling progrms a As mentioned previously,                infomatisnal-
type notices were isssae~d when ecpigm.ent necessary to comply
with a particular       requirem~ent of the act was not available.

       A Momt Hope District    Office official  advised us that
mine operators    needed aboeat two personal dust samplers for
'each working section of the mine to carry out their dust-
S    ling prc~g:r~,    He stated that the total    number required
rablged from about two samplers for     srmll mines to 24 sam-
plers for large mines.

         The Bureau ordered about 2,950 personal     dust-sampling
units and 150,000 filter      casslettes in April and June 1970,
and d~elivery of all items was to be made by July 15, 1970.
IJe were advised that tha; number of units ordered had been
based cpn the projected     needs for 136 inspectors    whom the
Bureau estimated would be assigned ten conducting health in-
speietions    by December 3.9710.

      Bureau records z&owed that about 2,900 of the personal
dust samplers and 5,300 of the filter     cassettes had been
received by July 95, 1970.    Bureau. records showed also
that, between July 15 and September 30, 43 additional      per-
soml dust samplers and about 37,000 additional      filter  cas-
settes ha'd been received.

      The two districts   that we visited received the follow-
ing quantities   of persona% dust samplers and filter  cas-
settes by the dates shown below.
                                     Number --received
                                                        Norton-
     Dates          Samplers      Cassettes     Samplers     Cassettes

July    15, 1970       980             500         1,107              500
Sept.   30, 1970       980          9,200          1,107           9,150

      We contacted the       only two manufacturers   which had ob-
tained Bureau approval        of their dust-sampling    equipment, to
determine what portion        of their total production    was used to
fill  the orders of the       Bureau.

     One company informed us that about 33 percent of all
shipments of personal samplers and 24 percent of all ship-
ments of filter  cassettes during the period April through
November 1970 had been made to the Bureau,

      The company's records showed that the company had a
sizeable backlog of orders from mine operators  for personal
dust samplers from April through July 1970 and for filter
cassettes  from May through December 1970.

       Although detailed      records of production        and shipment of
dust-sampling       equipment were not available        from the other
manufacturer      that we contacted,     company officials       advised
us that shipments of personal dust samplers to the Bureau
in June and July 1970 had accounted for about 80 percent of
the company's production.          Company officials       advised us
also that 80 percent of its production            of filter     cassettes
in June 1970 had been shipped to the Bureau and that a sub-
stantial    portion    of its production    had continued to be
shipped to the Bureau until         October 1970.

     At the time of our review, we found that              the utiliza-
tion of the personal dust samplers and filter              cassettes    in
the Norton Subdistrict Office was quite low.

       For example, only 72 (or about 9 percent)   of 833 per-
sonal samplers received for use by the Norton Subdistrict
Office had been used for taking dust samples as of Novem-
ber 30, 1970. Over 380 of the units had not been calibrated
and were not ready for use.     Because only seven health in-
spections   had been made by the subdistrict,   the units had
not been needed.

                                     62
CONCLUSIONS

       In our opinion,  the Bureau may have permitted unneces-
sarily   prolonged noncompliance with certain   provisions   of
the act by allowing mine operators    to order a particular
brand of equipment and by granting    time extensions    for com-
pliante   even though that brand may have been in short sup-
ply while a comparable substitute    brand may have been read-
ily available.

       We believe that the Bureau purchased more dust-
sampling equipment than it needed at the time and, in doing
so, contributed     to the problem of an overall   shortage of the
equipment and might have precluded many mine operators        from
establishing     a dust-sampling  program within the time re-
quired by the act.

      The Bureau headquarters    has not provided inspectors
with guidance as to (1) the specific      types of equipment
that are, in fact,   in short supply and (2) a reasonable es-
timate of the lead time necessary to obtain such equipment.
Without such information    there is no assurance that uniform
determinations  are being made by the Bureau inspectors      re-
garding the unavailability     of equipment or the time neces-
sary to obtain equipment not readily     available,

REXOMENDATIONS TO THE
 SECRETARYOF THE INTERIOR
---
      We recommend that the Secretary  of the Interior        re-
quire the Director   of the Bureau of Mines to:

     --Undertake,      on a continuing    basis, a study of the na-
        tionwide availability       of all types of equipment nec-
        essary for compliance with the health and safety
        provisions     of the act.     The information  obtained,
        including    the amount of lead time required       to obtain
        delivery,     should be furnished     to coal mine inspec-
        tors to aid them in making more uniform determina-
        tions as to how much time an operator should be al-
        lowed to obtain equipment necessary to abate notices
        of violations      issued for noncompliance with provi-
        sions of the act.


                                 64
,,,   ,,   (,,,




                  --Determine,    in conjunction     with the above study, the
                     feasibility    lof substituting    one brand of available
                     equipment for another brand which is in short supply
                     and, in those cases where it is feasible,        to require
                     mLne operators     to make such substitutions.

                  --Give more careful      consideration     in the futtzre to the
                     impact that the Bureau"s buying practices           have on
                     the supply of equipment available         to mine operators,
                     'especially  when the adequacy of the total supply ap-
                     pears questionable     and when the Bureau and the mine
                     operators   are in direct    competition     for new and im-
                     proved testing    devices,



                'II-E Department of the Interior     has stated that plans
           have been formulated    or actions have been initiated    that
                             to the reco     ndations set forth above,




                                               65
                              CHARTER5

      RECRUITMENT AND TRAINING OF COAJLMINE INSPECTORS

RECRUITMENT OF COAL MINE INSPECTORS

       When the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of
1969 was enacted in December 1969, the Bureau estimated that
the full   implementation       of all the inspection     and enforce-
ment provisions     of the act would require a staff of 1,046
persons.     This staff     includes supervisorsB     inspectors,   and
engineers;    but it does not include support personnel,           such
as technical     specialists,      statisticians,  and clerks.     The
Bureau estimated      that the goal would be reached sometime in
fiscal   year 1972. In December 1969 the Bureau's inspection
and enforcement     staff     consisted of 318 personsp including
57 who were in training.           By March 6, 1971, the Bureau had
increased the staff to 618, many of whom were in various
stages of training.

        Beginning in July 1969, in anticipation          of enactment
of the act, the Bureau and the Civil Service Commission took
steps to speed up the recruitment            of coal mine inspectors.
After the law became effective,           the Bureau continued to
speed up the employment of coal mine inspectors.,             In October
1969 the Bureau requested the Civil            Service Commission to
lower the passing grade for the coal mine inspector              exam-
ination.      In November 1969 the Commission approved the re-
quest by lowering the passing grade from 124 to 105. In
December 1969 the Bureau also revised its experience re-
quirement by permitting        substitution     of education for expe-
rience.      The substitution    of education for mining experi-
ence is authorized       by the 1969 act.

       In February and March 1970, the Bureau held a series
of examinations    in over 40 mining communities.     A second
series of examinations     was given in September and October
1970.    By December 1970 these examinations   had resulted    in
hiring   142 new inspectors.    In addition, 201 eligible   can-
didates were in the process of being hired.

      Because existing recruitment practices were not obtain-
ing the required manpower soon enough, on November 1, 1970,

                                  64
the Bureau dropped the requirement        for written    tests   for
coal mine inspectors.

        On the basis of our limited    review of the recruitment
efforts    of the Bureau,        pears   that continuing improve-
ments are being made.

TRAINING OF COAL MINE INSFEC

      In addition  to taking steps to recruit   increased num-
b'ers of coal. mine inspectors,  the Bureau revised its train-
          ices to shorten the time required   to train a coal.


      Prior to enactment of the act, the training            program for
coal mine'itispectors      consisted   of 2 days a week of class-
room training     and 3 days a week of on-the-job        training   with
an experienced     coal. mine inspector.     After    about   6 months
the trainee-inspector       was assigned on a fuELtime         basis to
eln experienced    inspector    until. he was qualified     to conduct
     ections on his Own.        We were informed that it usually
      about a year from the time that the inspector             was
hired until    he took full responsibility       for making inspec-
tions 0

       After the passage of the 'l-969 act, the Bureau reduced
the time required     to train i      eetors to meet its needs for
additional   inspectors   more r      day.   The training   period
was reduced to PO weeks of classroom training           and about
3 months of on-the-job      training   with an experienced     inspec-
tor, or a totab training       period of about 6 months.

      We have no suggestions        for the improvement of the Bu-
reauss   training   program   for   coal mine ins ectors at this
time.




                                    6.7
                                  CHAPTER6

          OTRER MATTERSPERTAINING TQ COAL MINE SAFETY

NEED FQR tiQQ$, INDEPENDENCE
IN ACCIDENT Iti&STIGATIONS

       The act authorizes         the Secretary      of the Interior      to in-
vestigate       mine accidents      and any other occurrences        relating
to health or safety in a coal mine.                In the event of the oc-
currence of any accident,            as defined by the Department in
its regulations          (30 CFR 80), mine operators        are required       to
immediately       notify    the Bureau's district       or subdistrict
office    fiich    has jurisdiction      over the area in which the
coal mine is located.            These regulations      provide that,       fol-
lowing notification           of an accident,    the district     or subdis-
trict   manager determine whether an investigation                of the ac-
cident should be conducted.

       We were advised by a Bureau official             that, as a general
practice,    the Bureau investigated        all accidents       involving
 (1) a fatal     injury   or any other death occurring          on mine
property,     (2) a serious nonfatal      injury     that could result
in the death of the injured person,             (3) a mine fire not ex-
tinquished     within    30 minutes,  (4) a mine explosion,           (5) an
ignition    of gas or dust or combination          thereof,      (6) a mine
inundation,      (7) a coal outburst     (violent      burst of coal from
ribs or face of mine) of sufficient            intensity     that it ap-
peared likely       that, had any persons been in the immediate
area, death or injury        could have occurred,         and (8) the
entrapment of any person.

        The accident investigations       usually    are made by the
inspector    who inspected the mine prior          to the accident,
another coal mine inspector         specializing     in the area that
caused the accident      (e.g.,   roof control,      electrical      equip-
ment, or explosives),       representatives      of the coal mine op-
erator,    and mine workers'     union representatives          if the ac-
cident took place in a union mine.

        We believe that the independence of the groups inves-
tigating    the accidents may be compromised by the possi-
bility   of a conflict   of interest.  For example, a

                                      68
conflict  of interest   may arise if the inspector    who last in-
spected the mine discovered     that the accident was due to a
violation   of a safety standard that he should have found and
reported during his previous inspection.       This could be es-
pecially  true if an accident occurred within a short
                                                    ,       time
(1 or 2 days) after the last inspection.

       Similarly,      the specialists     on the teams investigating
accidents      are frequently     representatives    from district    of-
fice groups, such as those which have approved roof control
or ventilation       plans for the mine at which the accident oc-
curred.      It might be difficult       for such specialists      to reach
completely      objective    'and independent conclusions      as to
whether the plans, which they or other members of their
group had approved, contained shortcomings              which had con-
tributed    to the accidents under investigation.

      Although we found no indications     of impropriety    in
connection with any of the investigations       that we reviewed,
the fact that an inspector     or other investigator     may be put
in a position    of having to evaluate his own performance,
especially    where fatalities  have occurred,    raises questions
as to the independence of his judgment in such situations,

      The Bureau apparently          became concerned with the quality
of its investigations,         and on October 8, 1970, a Washington
headquarters     official    issued a memorandum to the district
managers emphasizing the need for "more inquisitive             and
thorough *** accident        investigations."'     He also prescribed    a
procedure--which        the district     managers were urged to follow--
for selecting      the accident      investigation  team and conducting
the investigation,

     The procedure recommended by the Bureau provides               that
each Bureau accident  investigation team include:

      1. A permanent member with interest          and abilities     in
         accident  investigation work.

      2. The coal mine inspector    who last examined the mine
         or the coal mine inspector    supervisor  of the area in
         which the accident occurred.




                                    69
      3. A person with specialized    knowledge        concerning the
         type of accident investigated;     i.e.,       roof control,
         electricity,  etc.

       The use of this procedure still            would not seem to pro-
vide the desired degree of independence and objectivity                 in
investigating      the causes of accidents         because members of the
team making the investigation            could find themselves in the
position     of reporting      on matters which reflected      adversely
on activities      or operations      which had been carried out within
the responsibility        of their    supervisor    or which had been
carried    out directly      by the members themselves.        Therefore
this approach would not necessarily              ensure that responsibil-
ity for the accident was fixed properly              or that the type of
corrective     action needed to prevent future similar           accidents
was identified       properly.




                                    70
      We believe that the Bureau has not provided Bureau in-
spectors with adequate guidance concerning          the criteria    and
methods used to determine whether mine operators           comply with
the health and safety standards set forth in the act and in
the Departmentts    regulations,     We believe that the need for
mlore definitive  guidelines     concerning the criteria       and meth-
osds used in insp'ections     is especially   acute at this time be-
cause the Bureau is in the process of quadrupling            the inspec-
tion force that it had when the act was approved,

       The Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 is
very comprehensive and complex, and we believe that,        if the
prclvisions  of the act are to be administered   uniformly,     the
Bureau's inspectors    need to have a comprehensive,    up-to-date
manual,

       The only manual available       to the inspectors    was prepared
to implement the provisions        af the 1952 act,      We recognize
that new inspectors     receive classroom9 as weI.1 as on-the-job,
training.    Nevertheless,     in view of the complexities         of in-
spection activities,      we believe that written      guidelines
would provide greater assurance that inspection            activities
were being administered      uniformly,

      We noted that Bureau headquarters           oceasfonalhy   had is-
sued some instructions         relating   to inspection    and enfcaree-
ment activities,      These instructions,        which were very limited,
were furnished     to district       managers who were responsible       for
disseminating    the information        to the inspectors,

        The need for definitive      guidelines   concerning  inspection
activities     to be conducted under the act has Isang been rec-
ognized,     A memorandum of an October 23, 1969, meeting iof
Bureau officials,      including   the Director    of the Bureau, in-
dicated that top priority        was to be given to the preparation
of a manual,      In a letter    dated April 23, 1970, from the Act-
ing Secretary     of the Interior     to the Deputy Assistant     to the
President    for   omestic Affairs,      the Acting Secretary    stated
that:

      @"Anew manual for inspectors which will include
      the changes brought about by the new Act is
        almost complete.       It will provide complete guid-
        ance for the conduct in the field        of inspection
        and enforcement      operations   and assure uniformity
        of application      in the various districts    and sub-
        districts    of the United States.      We expect to
        distribute     this manual within    90 days."

       We recently    were advised by Bureau officials        that the
revision    was about 85-percent       complete but would not be com-
pleted before May 1971, Moreover,            drafting  of the manual
was suspended pending the adoption of changes in certain                in-
spection reporting       forms and the development of mandatory
surface-mining      regulations.      Although the portion    of the man-
ual dealing with inspection          of underground coal mines is
substantially      complete,     the Bureau prefers   to issue the man-
ual as a complete guide for both surface and underground                in-
spections,     We noted, however, that most fatalities           occurred
in underground mines.

        We notedinstances     in which inspectors     were responsible
for making decisions     but were provided with little           or no cri-
teria  for doing so.     For example, if aninspector          finds a con-
dition   in a mine which, in his opinion,       results     in imminent
danger to persons working in the mine, he is required               to is-
sue an order requiring      the mine operator     to withdraw all
workers from the section of the mine where the danger exists
or3 in some cases, from the entire mine, until            it is deter-
mined by the inspector      that the danger no longer exists.

       The act defines imminent danger as the existence     of any
condition   or practice in a coal mine which reasonably     can be
expected to cause death or serious physical     harm before such
condition   or practice can be abated.   The decision    as to
whether an imminent danger exists    is made principally    on the
basis of the judgment of the inspector.

       Principal    written   instructions    relating   to imminent dan-
ger consist      of a listing    in the existing     manual of 28 examples
of conditions      and practices     for which withdrawalorders     w
be issued,       The manual, however ) provides no guidance in de-
termining     when each example is or is not an imminent danger.

        On January 8, 1971, Bureau headquarters         issued instruc-
tions    to its district managers,which  stated       that inspectors

                                    72
should issue withdrawal   orders when underground areas of
coal mines were found to be inadequately     rock dusted (an in-
combustible  material. applied to raise the incombustible    con-
tent of coal dust in the mine),     During our review we found
numerous instances in which violations     had been cited for
t&se conditions    prior to the issuance of the instructions
and in which no orders of withdrawal     had been issued,

       We recognize that situations     will vary from mine to
mine.     Nevertheless j if the Bureau is to achieve reasonable
uniformity     in the application   of such provisions      as imminent-
danger determinations,      we believe that it is incumbent upon
Bureau headquarters      to provide more specific    criteria    which
its inspectors      can use to make these determinatibns,

        We noted statements by Bureau officia-Is         concerning        the
lack of uniform administration        lof inspection     activities,
For example, in May 1970 one district          manager pointed out to
his staff     that the instructions     received from Bureau head-
quarters,     as we%% as those given at a recent district               staff
meeting, might have been confusing and were inadequate and
that the inspectors       were not uniformly    carrying     out their
WCX-k *   To ensure that each inspector       understood      the actions
which he should take, the district          manager issued certain
specific    instructions    to each inspector,       Althoug'h the dis-
trict    manager might have clarified       the specific     procedures
in question,      we believe that a more systematic        means of pro-
viding instructions       governing the entire     inspection        process
should be developed,




                                      73
COAL MINE RESEARCH

         The Bureau's research effort       is implemented through
contracts,     grants,   and  Bureau field    research installations.
Bureau officials       concluded that the added responsibilities
placed on the Bureau by the act could not be accomplished
in its facilities       alone and that the Bureau should contract
for as much research as possible          to fulfill   the new respon-
sibilities.

      There was a minimum of available    data on the Bureau's
research planning for fiscal    year 1970. We were advised
that the selection   of research projects    to be funded had been
made as a result   of meetings and other contacts among re-
sponsible Bureau officials.

      We were told that there was little         documentation    on the
specific   planning of the health and safety research program
for fiscal    year 1970.   The first   identifiable    planning ac-
tion for the expansion of the research program was a meeting
in the summer of 1969, attended by the Bureau Director;               the
Deputy Director,    Health and Safety;     the Assistant     Director,
Coal Mine Health and Safety;       the Acting Assistant      Director,
Mining, Mineral Resources, and Environmental          Development;
and other Bureau officials     concerned with research.          The
general areas of needed research to improve coal mine health
and safety reportedly     were discussed.

      In fiscal   year 1970 the Bureau received,   in conjunction
with the passage of the act, a supplemental      appropriation    of
$12 million,    of which $7.5 million was designated by the
Bureau for health and safety research.

      As of June 30, 1970, the Bureau had committed about
$6.2 million    of these funds to award 21 contracts           for re-
search projects    in such areas as rescue and survival,           under-
ground support structures,       mine rescue communications,         and
measurement of respirable-coal-dust          concentration     in mine
atmospheres,     Of the awarded contracts,       18--which accounted
for $1.2 million    of the expenditures--resulted          from unsoli-
cited proposals,      The largest   contract    was a $3.4 million
award to a private     company for the development of a coal
mine rescue and survival      system.


                                    74
       Fiscal year 1971 research planning appears to have been
more systematic       than the research planning for the prior
year D The respansibility        for making specific        recommendations
for fiscal     year 1971 research was given to task groups Em
funstionna      areas, such as methane control,        respirable      dust
control,     and rescue an survival       systems.     Research ideas
bwe come from universities          and private    industry      in the form
lof unsolicited      research contracts    or grant proposals,         from
the Bu,~eau.*s day-to-day     contacts with industry          organizations,
and from the Buret&huhvsfield       research instaklations.

      We believe that the Bureau is developing a more effee-
tive approach to its research planning.     Therefore we have
no suggestions   for improving the planning of the Bureau"s
x-esearch program at this time.

CQNCLUS
      IONS

       We believe that i3~change in the composition        of the
teams responsible    for investigating       coal mine accidents   and
in the organinationd      level to which these investigators
report would be desirable      to ensure a greater degree of in-               .
dependence and objectivity       in carrying    out the investigk-
tilons 1

      We believe also that more definitive      guide%ines con-
cerning the criteria   used by inspectors    to determine whether
mine operators   are complying with the Department's      health
and safety standards will provide greater assurance that
such standards are being uniformly     applied.

li?Eco NDATIONS TO THJJ
SECRETARYOF THE JNlEERIQR

     We recommend that the Secretary   of the Interior             require
the Director of the Bureau rof Mines to:

      --Consider     establishing   a policy requiring      that accident
         investigation      teams be made responsible     to an organi-
         zational    kve1 above the district     offices,

      --Consider     establishing  a requirement  that accident in-
         vestigation     teams be composed of inspectors*and   other
         specialists     who have nat made recent ins
       the mine at which the accident occurred,      who have
       not approved such things as roof control      or ventila-
       tion plans which may have had a bearing on the cause
       of the accident being investigated,    and who are not
       employed in the district  having jurisdiction     over the
       mine where the accident occurred.

     --Expedite     the issuance of definitive   guidelines   setting
        forth the criteria      to be used by mine inspectors   in
        determining     whether mine operators  are complying with
        prescribed     health and safety standards.



      The Department of the Interior   has stated that      plans
have been formulated   or actions have been initiated       that are
responsive  to the recommendations   set forth above.       (See
app. II.)




                                 76
            EFFECT
                 OF THEACTQMm SUPPLY
                                   OF COAL
      During the hearings preceding the act and after its en-
actment, considerable    interest was expressed by coal mine
~operators and some members of Congress in the possible   ef-
fects that the act could have on the supply of coal.

       During our review we could not determine with any cer-
tainty   whether the act had any appreciable    effect    on coal
production    in 1970.   Coal prodractioq in the United States
hd been rising     during the 4 years immediately     preceding
the passage cpf the act and continued to increase in 1970,
as sh0wn    in the f~kl~wing  table,

                    Pear            -ITonsJroduced
                                             -1-p
                    1966              533,881,OOO
                    1967              551,0'00,000
                    1968              545,245,ooo
                    1969              560,505,000
                    1970              590,000,000

       We discussed with Bureau officials             the impact of the
act on the supp1y of coal, and they told us that the act had
px~actically   no impact.     On the basis of an earlier         study
made by the Mount Hope district            in February 1970, however,
thle Bureau estimated     that a gradual enforcement of the act
(what the Bureau described           as granting    time to the operators
to comply) would resezlt in id. reduction           in coal output of
ablout 8 miklion tons in the 12 months following              the effec-
tive date of the act.        MOl-b?QVe~   0 the Bureau estimated     that
ful.il and immediate compliance with the law wou'kd have re-
sulted in a reduction       in production        of about 50 mflkion tons
during the same period.          Actuany 9 in 1970 the Nation's         coal
output Fncreased by 29.5 million             tons, the largest   single
increase since 1964.

      The En-em made some efforts       to identify       losses in coal
prba~duction due tie the requirements     af the act      by requiring
thme district   cslffices IX Euxnjish a weekly report        on the activ-
ities   cpf the C%aL mine inspection    force.    This      report in-
cluded SW% things as th'e number of violations              cited,  th'e
number of mines closed as a result         of the act,    and the es-
timated lost coal production.

        A Mount Hope district      official   told us that the district
did not have the manpower to develop the information               and did
not furnish     it.    The Norton district      furnished   the informa-
tion,    but it did not appear to be reliable.            For example,
in estimating       the production      loss, Norton made no effort
to identify     how much of the loss which it attributed           to en-
forcement of the 1969 act would have occurred under the
earlier    1952 act which also provided authority           for closing
mines when certain       safety hazards were found.,

       In the absence of reliable data concerning lost pro-
duction due to the 1969 act, we sought the opinions of
knowledgeable persons in the coal mining industry    and the
mine workers'   union.

         Union officials   told us that,   in their opinion,   the
1969 act had had no significant         impact on the production   of
coal because the Bureau had not enforced the new act as
strictly      as it should have.

      Officials  from Virginia        and West Virginia   departments
of mines also told us that, in their opinion,           the new act
had not had a significant        impact on the NationIs     supply of
coal.   Virginia   officials     stated, however, that, as the act
was more rigidly    enforced,     some small operators     might be
forced out of business and that this could have an effect             on
the future production        of coal,

      In contrast,    coal company officials   stated that the act
had had a significant      impact on the production   of coal.
They said that cleaning up loose coal and coal dust, as re-
quired by the act, was one of the primary causes of lost
production   time.    They also stated that the mere presence
of a coal mine inspector      had hindered coal production.

CONCLUSIONS

       From evidence available    to us, we could not determine
whether the 1969 act had had any appreciable      effect    on coal
production.     Nevertheless,  the large increase in coal pro-
duction which took place in 1970 is an indication        that,  thus

                                    78
far, the impact of the act on coal production      has not been
large.    We have no basis upon which to comment on the pos-
 sible effect  on coal production  of stricter   enforcement of
health and safety requirements    in the future.




                               79
                                CHATTER 8

                            SCOPE OF REVIEW

        Our review was directed      primarily toward examining into
the effectiveness       of actions taken by the Department of the
Interior    and its Bureau of Mines to enforce compliance with
the major health and safety standards prescribed           in the Fed-
eral Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969. The review
was conducted primarily        at the Bureau's headquarters     in
Washington,     D.C., and at the Bureau's Coal Mine Health and
Safety district      offices   in Mount Hope, West Virginia,      and
Norton, Virginia.

       We reviewed the legislative        history     of the act and the
procedures for implementing          the legislation.      We also ex-
amined pertinent      documents, reports,        records,   and files   at
the Bureau's headquarters         and at the district       offices.    In
addition,    we interviewed      Department and Bureau officials;
coal mine operators;        coal mine workers'       union officials    in
West Virginia,     Virginia,     and Washington,      B.C.; and officials
of the West Virginia         and Virginia   departments of mines.         We
also accompanied coal mine inspectors             and observed some of
their health and safety inspections            in underground coal
mines.




                                    80
APPENDIXES
                                                                               APPENDIX   I




73~ honorable        Elmer B. Staats
Comptroller      General     of the United            States
General     Accounting      Office
4.41 C Street,       N, FJ,
Washington,      D, C,

Dear   Hr,    Staats:

        This Subcommittee         was instrtlinerntal      in bot11 the
writing     and enactment       of the ‘“Federal        Coal Nine Health
and Safety     Act of 1969. I1 Since the December                30, 1969
approval     of this   legislation,         the Subcommittee        has
maintained      close  contact       with   the implementation         of
the health      and safety      provisions        of this    Act by the
Department      of the Interior          and it’s     Gureau of Mines m

         A number of serious           deficiencies          in the Departnent”s
pro&ram       for the implementation              of these provisions             has
come to the attention             of the Subcommittee               during     the
course      of legislative        oversight        hearings      a For example,
 serious      questions       have been raised          about     the Departaent”s
 (1) ability        to implement      ‘effectively         the law’s        inspection
requirements)           (2) use of substantially               increased
appropriations,            (3) d evelopment         of effective         research
and training          programs O This enumeration                 only highlights
 some of the        more serious       issues.

          It would be most helpful         to the Subcomnittce      if the
 General       Accounting    Off ice would review     the Department       ’s
 actions       and plans   for implementation       of the Act,    and
  furnish       the Subeommittee’with      a report   on these   activities,
  including        any comments or recommendations        you believe        are
1,appropriate.,-




                                        Subcommit      tee     on Labor




                                            83
APPENDIXII


              United States Department of the Interior
                             OFFICE OF TIE SECRETARY
                              WASIIISGTON, DE. 20240



                                                            MAR 29 1971


        Mr. Joseph P. Rother, Jr.
        Assistant  Director,   Civil   Division
        General Accounting Office
        Washington, D.C.     X$+8

        Dear EC. Plother:

        The Department of the Interior           has reviewed the draft report
        entitled     "implementation     of the Federal Coal Mine Health and
        Safety Act-of 1.969,Department of the Interior"               which was made
        available      for review and comment. It is believed that the
        report     is an objective    appraisal     of Sureau of Mines' efforts
        to implement the Act within the period of time covered by
        the report,       and consequently,     only a very few substantive
        comments are offered at this time.              Also, there has been
        initiated,      or plans formulated      to initiate,    actions that
        are responsive to the report's           recommendations.      These
        actions will be described in our response to the final
        report.

        The only major exception     taken to the recommendation     in
        the draft report is with regard to the utilization        of
        people with lower qualifications       than regular coal mine
        inspectors    to specialize  in health inspections.    This is
        the first   recommendation listed     on page 46 of the report,
        and it is also mentioned on pages 8, 12, 13, 14, and 15 of
        the report.

        Although the Rureau has not, as yet, increased its inspection
        force to the required minimum of 1,000 personnel           to make all
        of the inspections     required by the Act, this will be done by
        June 30, so there is no need to further         reduce the qualifica-
        tions of inspectors      as a recruiting    measure.    It is, however,
        using inspector-trainees       and technicians    to assist in both
        health and safety inspections,         and will continue to do this




                                          84
                                                                                            APPENDIXII


                  to the extent that.it      can be done without reducing the qual.ity
                   02 the inspections.     It is believed that all of the inspectors
                   should be capabLe of enforcing both health and sa.fety standards
                   and of advising operators of changes that are needed for com-
                  pliance with the law in both respects at all times that they
                   are in the mines.     It would be extremely unwise, from our
                   past experiences,    to utilize  personnel as health inspectors*
                  who would be incapable of recognizing       unsafe practices   and
                   conditions  which might result in fatalities      - and possibly,
                   a disaster   - and to issue notices of violations     and with-
                   drawal orders when needed.




                                               [See GAO note 1.1




                                            .._.__.
                                                -,-.-.                                tit is doubted
                       that there would‘6e any cost saving,            and that our inspectors
                       would be less effective         and therefore    unacceptable.

                       On page 10 of the report it is incorrectly            stated that partial
                       inspections   'are to be reinstated        in 1971 after each coal mine
                       has had two regular safety inspections."            The Bureau of Mines
                       does not plan to make any more "partial          but representative
                       inspecti*&,"        [see &IO note-2*1                     -
                       We appreciate    the opportunity      to review this report in draft,
                       even though the four days time allotted          was not sufficient
                       to allow for the careful,       reflective    analysis we prefer to
                       offer on such review.

                                                               Sincerely     yours,




                                                                           r of Survey an
        GAO notes:
          1. The deleted comments relate to matters discussed in the
             draft report but omitted from this final report.
          2. The draft report was revised to reflect  the above
             statement a (See p= 11.1



U.S.   GAO   Walsh.,     D.C.