Title: Verification of Underground Coal Mine Operators' Dust Control Plans and Compliance Sampling for Respirable Dust
Abstract: MSHA's current standards require that all underground coal mine operators develop and follow a mine ventilation plan for each mechanized mining unit that we approve. However, we do not have a requirement that provides for verification of each plan's effectiveness under typical mining conditions. Consequently, plans may be implemented by mine operators that could be inadequate to control respirable dust.
In response to comments received on the July 2000 proposed rule for MSHA to withdraw the rule, MSHA published a new proposed rule on March 6, 2003. The proposed rule would have required mine operators to verify, through sampling, the effectiveness of the dust control parameters for each mechanized mining unit specified in the approved mine ventilation plan.
The use of approved powered air-purifying respirators and/or verifiable administrative controls would have been allowed as a supplemental means of compliance when MSHA had determined that all feasible engineering or environmental controls were exhausted.
Public hearings were held in May 2003, and the comment period, originally scheduled to close on June 4, 2003, was extended until July 3, 2003. On June 24, 2003, MSHA announced that all work on the final rule would cease and the rulemaking record would remain open in order to obtain information concerning Continuous Personal Dust Monitors being tested by NIOSH. A Federal Register notice was published on July 3, 2003, extending the comment period indefinitely. NIOSH issued a report on the continuous personal dust monitor in September 2006 and another report concerning test results in June of 2007. MSHA will determine the next course of action after a review of all data and test results.
Agency: Department of Labor(DOL)
Priority: Other Significant
Previously published in the Unified Agenda
Initial (Administrative Startup and /or Capital) Cost:
Yearly (Annual Operating) Cost:
Related to 1219-AB18, Related to 1219-AB48
Patricia W. Silvey
Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Room 631,1100 Wilson Boulevard,Room 2350