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DOL/MSHA RIN: 1219-AB64 Publication ID: Fall 2008
Title: Occupational Exposure to Coal Mine Dust (Lowering Exposure Limit)
Abstract: The Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 established the first comprehensive respirable dust standards for coal mines. These standards were designed to reduce the incidence of coal workers' pneumoconiosis (black Lung) and silicosis and eventually eliminate these diseases. While significant progress has been made toward improving the health conditions in our Nation's coal mines, miners continue to be at risk of developing occupational lung disease, according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). In September 1995, NIOSH issued a Criteria Document in which it recommended that the respirable coal mine dust permissible exposure limit (PEL) be cut in half. In February 1996, the Secretary of Labor convened a Federal Advisory Committee on the Elimination of Pneumoconiosis Among Coal Miners (Advisory Committee) to assess the adequacy of MSHA's current program and standards to control respirable dust in underground and surface coal mines, as well as other ways to eliminate black lung and silicosis among coal miners. The Committee represented the labor, industry, and academic communities. The Committee submitted its report to the Secretary of Labor in November 1996, with the majority of the recommendations unanimously supported by the Committee members. The Committee recommended that MSHA consider lowering the coal dust PEL. MSHA will consider all recommendations and will seek the public's input into possible alternatives through the use of an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM). In the Request for Information, the agency will solicit comment on whether the exposure limit for respirable coal mine dust should be lowered, and if so, how should it be lowered.
Agency: Department of Labor(DOL) Priority: Other Significant
RIN Status: First time published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Prerule Stage
Major: No Unfunded Mandates: No
CFR Citation: 30 CFR 70; 30 CFR 71; 30 CFR 75; 30 CFR 90 (To search for a specific CFR, visit the Code of Federal Regulations.)
Legal Authority: 30 USC 811; 30 USC 812
Legal Deadline: None
Action Date FR Cite
RFI 12/00/2008
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined Government Levels Affected: None
Small Entities Affected: Businesses Federalism: No
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No
Related RINs: Related to 1219-AA81
Agency Contact:
Patricia W. Silvey
Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances
Department of Labor
Mine Safety and Health Administration
1100 Wilson Blvd., Room 2350,
Arlington, VA 22209-3939
Phone:202 693-9640
Fax:202 693-9441