Skip to content
DOL/MSHA RIN: 1219-AB64 Publication ID: Spring 2014

Title: Lowering Miners' Exposure to Respirable Coal Mine Dust, Including Continuous Personal Dust Monitors 

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 (CWP or 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 a number of actions to reduce miners' exposure to respirable coal mine dust. This final rule is an important element in MSHA's Comprehensive Black Lung Reduction Strategy (Strategy) to "End Black Lung Now." 

Agency: Department of Labor(DOL) 
Priority: Economically Significant;
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Completed Actions 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 30 CFR 70; 30 CFR 71; 30 CFR 72; 30 CFR 75; 30 CFR 90 
Legal Authority: 30 USC 811; 30 USC 813(h); 30 USC 957 
Legal Deadline:  None
Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  10/19/2010  75 FR 64412 
Notice of Public Hearings; Corrections  11/15/2010  75 FR 69617 
NPRM-Rescheduling of Public Hearings; Correction  11/30/2010  75 FR 73995 
NPRM Comment Period End  02/28/2011   
Public Hearing  12/07/2010   
Public Hearing  01/11/2011   
Public Hearing  01/13/2011   
Public Hearing  01/25/2011   
Public Hearing  02/08/2011   
Public Hearing  02/10/2011   
Public Hearing  02/15/2011   
NPRM Comment Period Extended   01/14/2011  76 FR 2617 
Request for Comment  03/08/2011  76 FR 12648 
NPRM Comment Period End  05/02/2011   
NPRM Comment Period Extended  05/04/2011  76 FR 25277 
NPRM Comment Period End  05/31/2011   
NPRM Comment Period Extended  05/27/2011  76 FR 30878 
NPRM Comment Period End  06/20/2011   
Final Rule  05/01/2014  79 FR 24814
Final Rule Effective 08/01/2014  
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Information URL: www.msha.gov   Public Comment URL: www.regulations.gov  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Sheila McConnell
Acting Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances
Department of Labor
Mine Safety and Health Administration
1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350,
Arlington, VA 22209
Phone:202 693-9440
Fax:202 693-9441
Email: McConnell.Sheila.A@dol.gov