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The Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 requires operators of underground coal mines to improve accident preparedness. The legislation requires mining companies to develop an emergency response plan specific to each mine they operate, and requires that every mine have at least two rescue teams located within one hour. The law also limits the legal liability of rescue team members and the companies that employ them. It increases both civil and criminal penalties for violations of federal mining safety standards and gives the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) the ability to temporarily close a mine that fails to pay penalties or fines. In addition, the act calls for several studies into ways to enhance mine safety, as well as the establishment of a new office within the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health devoted to improving mine safety. Finally, the legislation would establish new scholarship and grant programs devoted to training individuals with respect to mine safety.

Key Provisions

Key provisions of the MINER Act: