MSHA Extends Comment Period on Coal Dust Exposure Rule

May 2 is the new deadline, which gives stakeholders two additional months to submit comments.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has given stakeholders two additional months to submit comments on its proposed rule lowering the levels of respirable coal mine dust to which coal miners may be exposed and requiring them to wear continuous personal dust monitors -- a rule that will contribute mightily to preventing black lung cases, according to the agency's assistant secretary, Joe Main, and NIOSH Director Dr. John Howard, among others.

The extension moves the comment deadline from Feb. 28 to May 2. The proposed rule was published Oct. 19, 2010 (75 FR 64412) and is available here.

To file a comment, visit www.regulations.gov and search for RIN 1219-AB64, or e-mail the comment to zzMSHA-comments@dol.gov and include the same RIN number.

In the notice announcing the extension, MSHA asked for commenters' "views on what actions should be taken by MSHA and the mine operator when a single shift respirable dust sample meets or exceeds the Excessive Concentration Value (ECV). In this situation, if operators use a CPDM, what alternative actions to those contained in the proposed rule would you suggest that MSHA and the operator take? MSHA is particularly interested in alternatives to those in the proposal and how such alternatives would be protective of miners.

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