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

Department of Labor (DOL)
Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)
Proposed Rule Stage



Priority: Other Significant

Legal Authority: 30 USC 957; 30 USC 811; 30 USC 825

CFR Citation: 30 CFR 49

Legal Deadline: Final, Statutory, December 15, 2007.

Abstract: On June 15, 2006, Public Law 109-236 or the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act (MINER Act) of 2006 became effective. This rulemaking will implement section 4 of the MINER Act by amending existing standards and developing new standards to provide for certification composition, and training requirements for mine rescue teams in underground coal mines. Currently, requirements for mine rescue teams are set forth in 30 CFR part 49.

Statement of Need: Section 4 of the MINER Act requires the Secretary of Labor to finalize mandatory health and safety standards relating to mine rescue teams in underground coal mines no later than December 15, 2007. Current standards require properly trained mine rescue teams to be immediately available during mine emergencies. The MINER Act requires team members to have underground coal mining experience and requires teams to participate in mine rescue contests. The MINER Act also provides for multi-employer teams, State-sponsored teams, and contract teams to ensure the availability of qualified mine rescue teams.

Summary of Legal Basis: Promulgation of this regulation is authorized by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 and the MINER Act of 2006.

Alternatives: As required by the MINER Act, MSHA must publish a regulation on mine rescue teams.

Anticipated Cost and Benefits: MSHA will develop a preliminary regulatory economic analysis to accompany the proposed rule.

Risks: Mine explosions at the Sago Mine and Darby No. 1 Mine and a mine fire at the Alma Mine in 2006 resulted in the deaths of 19 underground coal miners. Explosions, fires, and the migration of potentially explosive methane-air mixtures from worked-out areas to the working areas of an underground coal mine endanger all miners who work in the mine, including potential rescuers.


Action                            Date                      FR Cite


NPRM                            05/00/07
Final Action                    12/00/07

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined

Small Entities Affected: Businesses

Government Levels Affected: State

Federalism: This action may have federalism implications as defined in EO 13132.

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

RIN: 1219-AB53