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[April 30, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 82)]
[Unified Agenda]

Department of Labor (DOL)
Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)
Long-Term Actions



Priority: Other Significant

Legal Authority: 30 USC 811

CFR Citation: Not Yet Determined

Legal Deadline: None

Abstract: On June 24, 2003, MSHA announced that all work on its Plan Verification and Single-Sample Respirable Coal Mine Dust final rules would cease and the rulemaking record would remain open in order to obtain information concerning Continuous Personal Dust Monitors (CPDMs) currently being tested by NIOSH. A Federal Register notice was published on July 3, 2003, extending the comment periods indefinitely. NIOSH issued a report on the CPDM in September 2001. MSHA will solicit public input on potential applications of this new monitoring technology in coal mines.

Statement of Need: Respirable coal mine dust levels in this country are significantly lower than they were over two decades ago. Despite this progress, there continues to be concern about our current sampling program and MSHA's ability to accurately measure and maintain respirable coal mine dust at or below the applicable standard. The new CPDM, unlike the technology that has been employed since 1970 to measure concentrations of respirable coal mine dust, offers the capability to provide accurate and timely continuous readings of the dust level during a shift. Responses to this Request for Information (RFI) will assist the Agency in determining: (1) how to deploy the CPDM in coal mines and utilize its coal dust monitoring capability to further improve miner health protection from disabling occupational lung disease; and (2) the regulatory and non-regulatory actions that would promote its use for exposure monitoring and control.

Summary of Legal Basis: This RFI is authorized by sections 101 and 103 of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977.

Alternatives: This RFI would explore options for amending and improving health protection from that afforded by the existing standards.

Anticipated Cost and Benefits: MSHA will develop a preliminary economic analysis to accompany any proposed rule that may be developed.

Risks: Respirable coal dust is one of the most serious occupational hazards in the mining industry. Occupational exposure to excessive levels of respirable coal mine dust can cause black lung, which is potentially disabling and can cause death. MSHA is pursuing both regulatory and nonregulatory actions to eliminate this disease through the control of coal mine respirable dust levels in mines and reduction of miners' exposure.


Action                            Date                      FR Cite


Request for Information          To Be                       Determined

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No

Small Entities Affected: Businesses

Government Levels Affected: None

URL For More Information:

URL For Public Comments:

Agency Contact: Patricia W. Silvey, Director, Office of Standards,
Regulations, and Variances, Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health
Administration, 1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350, Arlington, VA 22209-3939
Phone: 202 693-9440
Fax: 202 693-9441
Email: Related

RIN: Related to 1219-AB14, Related to 1219-AB18

RIN: 1219-AB48