Search Results Archives: November 2011

November 28, 2011

2 mine-safety bills stalled: Tight timetable, political differences make 2011 action unlikely

From: Courrier-Journal.com

WASHINGTON — Legislation that would strengthen penalties for violating mine-safety laws and give regulators more powers over coal operators in Kentucky and other states likely won’t see congressional action this year.

Mine-safety bills were introduced early this year by Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., and Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., but neither has left the committees where they were assigned for consideration. The 15 co-sponsors of Miller’s bill are all Democrats, as are the three co-sponsors of Rockefeller’s measure.

A tight calendar and political differences are combining to block movement on the legislation.

November 23, 2011

Labor Department: 1-year push has helped trim backlog of contested mine safety citations

From: Washington Post

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A U.S. Department of Labor report says efforts to reduce the massive backlog of contested mine safety violations across the country have been relatively successful, but new ones continue to pour in.

A report to Congress last week says the number of current cases at the end of July was about 17,100 — roughly 500 fewer than the same month the previous year. That’s despite a flood of more than 11,000 new appeals.

In July 2010, Congress approved an emergency $23 million to the Labor Department and the federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission for the project.

November 18, 2011

Top mine regulator has turned up heat

From: Courrier-Journal.com

WASHINGTON — After the Upper Big Branch Mine disaster killed 29 miners last year, federal coal-mine regulators launched a new program of safety blitzes, showing up unannounced at mines in Kentucky and other states, seizing telephones so people underground would get no warning, and fanning out in search of hazards.

Since April 2010, the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration has conducted 251 so-called “impact inspections” in coal mines, including 73 in Kentucky and seven in Indiana.

November 8, 2011

Proposed Rule on Proximity Detection Systems on Continuous Mining Machines in Underground Coal Mines – Extension of Public Comment Period

Extension of Public Comment Period

MSHA’s Proposed Rule on Proximity Detection Systems on Continuous Mining Machines in Underground Coal Mines

On November 10, 2011, MSHA will publish a notice in the Federal Register announcing an extension of the comment period on the Agency’s proposed rule addressing Proximity Detection Systems for Continuous Mining Machines in Underground Coal Mines.  The comment period will be extended to November 28, 2011.  The notice will be available for viewing on November 9, 2011 at 8:45 a.m. at the Office of the Federal Register, Public Inspection Desk: http://www.federalregister.gov/inspection.aspx.  The proposed rule was published on August 31, 2011 (76 FR 54163) and is available on http://www.msha.gov/regsprop.htm and at www.regulations.gov.  Comments on the proposed rule must be received by midnight Eastern Standard Time on November 28, 2011.

November 4, 2011

MSHA Officials Warn Coal Operators of Rock Dust Issues

Editor’s Note:  The complete MSHA Program Information Bulletin on Rock Dust is attached below.

From: WTRF.com

By Taylor Kuykendall, Reporter

A bulletin sent to underground miners from a federal regulatory body warns operators of rock dust which does not meet federal standards.

According to a Program Information Bulletin (PIB) from the Mine, Safety and Health Administration, samples of various rock dusts samples taken from underground coal mines found that 47 percent of samples collected did not particle size standards. Noncompliant dust was found at 51 percent of the mines sampled.