U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
 
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UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Washington, DC 20240
 
June 13, 2011
 
In Reply Refer To:
3482, 3486, 3598 (320) P
 
EMS TRANSMISSION 06/15/2011
Instruction Memorandum No. 2011-128
Expires:  09/30/2012
 
To:                  State Directors
 
From:              Assistant Director, Minerals and Realty Management
 
Subject:          Interim Bureau of Land Management Mineral Mine Inspector Certification
                       Policy
 
Program Area:  Coal and Other Solid Leasable Minerals Management.
 
Purpose:  This Instruction Memorandum (IM) supersedes the policy and guidance previously provided in Washington Office (WO)-IM-2009-201, Interim Guidance for Implementation of the Bureau of Land Management Leasable Minerals Mine Inspector Certification Policy, for training and certification of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) personnel who inspect mining operations on Federal lands that are leased for solid mineral development.  
 
Policy/Action:  All Federal solid mineral leases will be inspected by a BLM Mineral Mine Inspector (MMI).  The State Director (SD) must certify that each MMI has received mandatory training, has the requisite education credentials, and has the required experience that when combined demonstrate the necessary competence, knowledge, and skills that will enable him or her to successfully monitor and measure compliance with lease terms, the mining plan, and applicable regulatory requirements.  The MMI certification requirements and procedures are provided in Attachment 1, BLM Mineral Mine Inspector Certification Requirements. Ample opportunity must be provided to each MMI to complete training.
 
All personnel assigned solid leasable inspection and enforcement or production verification duties are required to complete annual safety refresher training, annual mine-specific hazard awareness training, and periodic professional development training.
 
Personnel who were first assigned solid leasable inspection and enforcement or production verification duties on or after August 14, 2009, are required to successfully complete MMI task training. Until certified as an MMI, any inspections and related tasks must be performed with the assistance of a person who is already certified as an MMI.  The new MMI task training will not be available for at least another 24 months. As an alternative, these persons can satisfy the task training requirement for certification by completing the eight online courses indicated as being applicable training in lieu of the BLM task training in the attached MMI Professional Development Training - Acceptable EduMine Courses. These courses must be completed within 24 months after the effective date of this IM. If inspection or product verification duties are first assigned after the effective date of this IM, these courses must be completed within 24 months after being first assigned inspection or product verification duties. Completion of these additional courses will also satisfy the professional development requirement for the same period. 
 
An MMI assigned solid leasable inspection and enforcement or production verification duties before August 14, 2009, will be certified based on previous requirements of experience and education. These persons are encouraged to participate in the MMI task training when it becomes available as a part of their professional development training.  
 
There are many alternative professional development training classes available at little or no cost through the online learning service known as EduMine. All MMIs are encouraged to consider the education alternatives available through EduMine. Attachment 2 summarizes the suggested EduMine classes that will fulfill an MMI’s Continuing Professional Development requirement. Contact Matt Shumaker (phone and email are provided below) at the National Training Center to coordinate access and training. All professional development training must be approved by the MMI’s supervisor prior to enrollment, and documentation of successful completion must be provided.
 
An MMI candidate who has not completed an initial “new miner” mine safety and hazard awareness training course, as required in the attached Interim Guidance for Certification and Training of BLM Mineral Mine Inspectors, is encouraged to successfully complete such a class from a third-party provider at his or her earliest convenience. A candidate employed by the BLM on the effective date of this IM must complete “new miner” training within 12 months after the effective date of this IM. A candidate hired by the BLM after the effective date of this IM must complete “new miner” training within 1 year after s/he begins Federal service. Such training must comply with Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) Section 48 requirements. Potential sources for such training may be local mining companies or nearby colleges or universities. Local investigation is required to identify the nearest provider. New BLM mine inspectors that have completed initial new miner training need not repeat this training, but do need to document when and how such training was completed. An MMI actively conducting mine inspections before August 14, 2009, will be certified based on previous requirements of experience and education and is therefore not required to complete this class.
 
Timeframe:  Development of the task training for new MMI candidates has been delayed. Therefore, the time period for completion of the mandatory task training for MMI candidates that were first assigned mine inspection duties or after August 14, 2009 (the effective date on
WO-IM-2009-201), is extended to 24 months after issuance of this IM.
 
Budget Impact:  The Washington Office will maintain funding for the initial safety and task training. Annual safety refresher retraining and continued education will be provided by each state office.  
 
Background:  WO-IM-2009-201 provided that all inspectors are required to complete MMI certification 12 months after the date of issuance (August 14, 2009). Completion of MMI certification during this time period has proven to be unattainable because the required training elements are not yet available. 
 
Preliminary mine inspector certification policies were provided in Section A of the Inspection and Enforcement Guidelines and Section B of the Production Verification Guidelines, collectively known as the “Red Book” distributed by the Washington Office, Division of Solid Mineral Operations on October 21, 1985.  These guidelines were never formally incorporated into the BLM directives system.  However, these guidelines have served as the BLM’s policy guidance for inspection, enforcement, and production verification for solid leasable minerals since their inception.  Other solid mineral programs have required certification of mining engineers and geologists through the Certified Mineral Examiner (CME) program. The CME signifies that the individual has met the basic training and skill levels to independently perform a mineral examination of a mining claim or site under the General Mining Law of 1872, as amendedBoth the Red Book guidelines and the CME manual have been reviewed and portions used in the development of the MMI certification policy.
 
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected:  Manual Sections 3480 and 3590 are in development and will incorporate the certification of MMIs in conformance with this policy.
 
Coordination:  This policy was developed with the assistance of the BLM state offices and the National Training Center. 
 
Contact:  If you have any questions concerning the content of this IM, please contact me at
202-208-4201, or your staff may contact the Solid Minerals Division (WO-320) Division Chief Mitch Leverette, 202-912-7113, email address Mitchell_Leverette@blm.gov; William Radden-Lesage, 202-912-7116, email address Bill_Lesage@blm.gov; Vince Vogt, 202-912-7125, email address Vince_Vogt@blm.gov; Matt Shumaker, 602-906-5526, email address Matt_Shumaker@blm.gov; or Mark Chatterton, 702-515-5049, email address Mark_Chatterton@blm.gov.
 
 
Signed by:                                                                    Authenticated by:
Michael Nedd                                                                Robert M. Williams
Assistant Director                                                         Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Minerals and Realty Management
 
 
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Last updated: 06-16-2011