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MSHA News Release No. 95-013
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: (703) 235-1452

April 10, 1995

MSHA SOLICITS COMMENTS ON REGULATORY REFORM

In response to President Bill Clinton's call for sweeping reform of the federal regulatory system, the Labor Department's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is inviting mine operators, miners, manufacturers and other interested parties to identify regulations that are unnecessary, obsolete or have conflicting or duplicate provisions.

MSHA currently is conducting a comprehensive review of all its existing regulations in chapter 1 of Title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations. "The primary purpose of this review is to improve the effectiveness of the agency's existing safety and health regulations, without reducing the protection provided to miners," said J. Davitt McAteer, assistant labor secretary for mine safety and health.

In reviewing existing regulations, MSHA is evaluating each standard for necessity. For example, the agency has identified equipment approval regulations under which no applications have been received in many years. Regulatory reform is part of Clinton's second phase of reinventing government and is outlined in Executive Order No. 12866, which the President signed on Sept. 30, 1993.

MSHA also is evaluating whether there are standards that duplicate, are inconsistent with or conflict with other MSHA or federal requirements. For example, MSHA is considering combining the safety and health standards for surface and underground metal and nonmetal mines into a single part to eliminate unnecessary repetition.

Notice of MSHA's request for comments on regulatory reform will appear in the Federal Register on Monday, April 10, 1995. Submit written comments on or before May 1, 1995, to MSHA's Office of Standards, Regulations and Variances, Room 631, 4015 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, Va., 22203, (703) 235-1910. Computer disks with comments, accompanied by hard copy, are encouraged.

Clinton reiterated the need for regulatory reform in a March 4 memorandum to department and agency heads. McAteer noted that while the May 1 comment deadline was short, both the agency and the department intend to move as quickly as possible on the President's call. Comments submitted after the deadline also will be accepted and considered as part of MSHA's ongoing regulatory reform efforts.