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MSHA News Release: [12/30/2008]
Contact: Amy Louviere
Phone: 202-693-9423
Release Number 08-1876-NAT

MSHA publishes final rule that requires flame-resistant conveyor belts and other fire protection measures in underground coal mines

ARLINGTON, Va. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) will publish a final rule tomorrow in the Federal Register that implements the recommendations of the Technical Study Panel on the Utilization of Belt Air and the Composition and Fire Retardant Properties of Belt Material in Underground Coal Mining (Panel). The Panel, established under Section 11 of the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response (MINER) Act of 2006, conducted an independent scientific engineering review and issued its report on December 20, 2007.

"This final rule calls for improved flame-resistant conveyor belts to better protect miners in underground coal mines," said Richard E. Stickler, acting assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "It also includes requirements for fire prevention and detection in belt entries, standardized tactile signals on lifelines, and approval of the use of air from the belt entry to ventilate working sections."

Under the final rule, underground coal mine operators are required to:

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