Jan. 15 Public Hearing Set on Coal Mine Seal Report

The Mine Safety and Health Administration today reopened the comment period on its Emergency Temporary Standard governing sealing of abandoned areas in underground coal mines and also announced a Jan. 15 public hearing in Arlington, Va. The new comment deadline is midnight EST on Jan. 18.

MSHA issued the standard May 22; the hearing will concern a report that summarizes preliminary results of a 2007 study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to mathematically model the methane explosion at the Sago Mine and potentially establish the seal overpressures. The report was prepared under contract for MSHA's Technical Support Directorate but was not finalized. The hearing will begin at 9 a.m. EST and continue until the last speaker has been heard, according to today's Federal Register notice.

Requests to speak at the hearing should be made at least five days ahead of time by calling 202-693-9440, faxing 202-693-9441, or writing to MSHA, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances, 1100 Wilson Blvd., Room 2350, Arlington, VA 22209-3939.

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