Joseph A. Main

MSHA to Hold Six Coal Mine Dust Rule Hearings

The first of the public hearings will be in West Virginia on Dec. 7. The hearings are about the proposed rule published Oct. 19.

MSHA recently announced that it will hold six public hearings on the proposed rule "Lowering Miners' Exposure to Respirable Coal Mine Dust, Including Continuous Personal Dust Monitors." The notice will be available in the Federal Register on Nov. 15. The proposed rule was published Oct. 19 and is available here.

"This proposed rule would significantly improve health protections for underground and surface coal miners by reducing their occupational exposure to respirable coal mine dust," said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "It will lower the risk that they will suffer material impairment of health or functional capacity over their working lives."

Each of the public hearings will begin at 9 a.m. local time and end after the last presenter speaks, but no later than 5 p.m., on the following dates at the locations indicated:

  • Dec. 7, 2010 - National Mine Health and Safety Academy, Beaver, W.Va.
  • Dec. 9, 2010 - The George Washington Hotel, Washington, Pa.
  • Jan. 11, 2011 - Marriott Evansville Airport, Evansville, Ind.
  • Jan. 13, 2011 - Sheraton Birmingham, Birmingham, Ala.
  • Jan. 25, 2011 - Marriott Salt Lake City, Salt Lake City.
  • Jan. 27, 2011 - Mine Safety and Health Administration Headquarters, Arlington, Va.

Each hearing will begin with an opening statement from MSHA, followed by an opportunity for members of the public to make oral presentations. A written request is not required to speak; however, individuals and representatives of organizations wishing to speak are encouraged to notify MSHA in advance for scheduling purposes by calling 202-693-9440.

MSHA will accept post-hearing written comments and other appropriate information for the record from any interested party, including those not presenting oral statements. Comments must be received by midnight EST on Feb. 28, 2011.

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