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Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969
Public Law 91-173*
91st Congress, S. 2917
December 30, 1969


TITLE V--ADMINISTRATION

Research

     . 501. (a) The Secretary and the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, as appropriate, shall conduct such studies, research, experiments, and demonstrations as may be appropriate--
         (1) to improve working conditions and practices in coal mines, and to prevent accidents and occupational diseases originating in the coal-mining industry;
         (2) to develop new or improved methods of recovering persons in coal mines after an accident;
         (3) to develop new or improved means and methods of communication from the surface to the underground area of a coal mine;
         (4) to develop new or improved means and methods of reducing concentrations of respirable dust in the mine atmosphere of active workings of the coal mine;
         (5) to develop epidemiological information to (A) identify and define positive factors involved in occupational diseases of miners, (B) provide information on the incidence and prevalence of pneumoconiosis and other respiratory ailments of miners, and (C) improve mandatory health standards;
         (6) to develop techniques for the prevention and control of occupational diseases of miners, including tests for hypersusceptibility and early detection;
         (7) to evaluate the effect on bodily impairment and occupational disability of miners afflicted with an occupational disease;
         (8) to prepare and publish from time to time, reports on all significant aspects of occupational diseases of miners as well as on the medical aspects of injuries, other than diseases, which are revealed by the research carried on pursuant to this subsection;
         (9) to study the relationship between coal mine environments and occupational diseases of miners;
         (10) to develop new and improved underground equipment and other sources of power for such equipment which will provide greater safety; and
         (11) for such other purposes as they deem necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act.
     (b) Activities under this section in the field of coal mine health shall be carried out by the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, and activities under this section in the field of coal mine safety shall be carried out by the Secretary.
     (c) In carrying out the provisions for research, demonstrations, experiments, studies, training, and education under this section and sections 301(b) and 502(a) of this title, the Secretary and the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare may enter into contracts with, and make grants to, public and private agencies and organizations and individuals. No research, demonstrations, or experiments shall be carried out, contracted for, sponsored, cosponsored, or authorized under authority of this chapter, unless all information, uses, products, processes, patents, and other developments resulting from such research, demonstrations, or experiments will (with such exception and limitation, if any, as the Secretary or the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare may find to be necessary in the public interest) be available to the general public.
     (d) The Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare shall also conduct studies and research into matters involving the protection of life and the prevention of diseases in connection with persons, who although not miners, work with, or around the products of, coal mines in areas outside of such mines and under conditions which may adversely affect the health and well-being of such persons.
     (e) There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary such sums as may be necessary to carry out his responsibilities under this section and section 301(b) of this title at an annual rate of not to exceed $20,000,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1970, $25,000,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1971, and $30,000,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1972, and for each succeeding fiscal year thereafter. There is authorized. to be appropriated annually to the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare such sums as may be necessary to carry out his responsibilities under this chapter. Such sums shalI remain available until expended.
     (f) The Secretary is authorized to grant on a mine-by-mine basis an exception to any mandatory health or safety standard under this chapter for the purpose of permitting, under such terms and conditions as he may prescribe, accredited educational institutions the opportunity for experimenting with new and improved techniques and equipment to improve the health and safety of miners. No such exception shall be granted unless the Secretary finds that the granting of the exception will not adversely affect the health and safety of miners and publishes his findings.
     (g) The Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare is authorized to make grants to any public or private agency, institution, or organization, and operators or individuals for research and experiments to develop effective respiratory equipment.

Training and Education

     . 502. (a) The Secretary shall expand programs for the education and training of operators and agents thereof, and miners in--
         (1) the recognition, avoidance, and prevention of accidents or unsafe or unhealthful working conditions in coal mines; and
         (2) in the use of flame safety lamps, permissible methane detectors, and other means approved by the Secretary for detecting methane and other explosive gases accurately.
     (b) The Secretary shall, to the greatest extent possible, provide technical assistance to operators in meeting the requirements of this chapter and in further improving the health and safety conditions and practices in coal mines.

Assistance to States

     . 503. (a) The Secretary, in coordination with the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare and the Secretary of Labor, is authorized to make grants in accordance with an application approved under this section to any State in which coal mining takes place--
         (1) to assist such State in developing and enforcing effective coal mine health and safety laws and regulations consistent with the provisions of section 506 of this title;      (2) to improve State workmen's compensation and occupational disease laws and programs related to coal mine employment; and
         (3) to promote Federal-State coordination and cooperation in improving the health and safety conditions in the coal mines.
     (b) The Secretary shall approve any application or any modification thereof, submitted under this section by a State, through its official coal mine inspection or safety agency, which--
         (1) sets forth the programs, policies, and methods to be followed in carrying out the application in accordance with the purposes of subsection (a) of this section;
         (2) provides research and planning studies to carry out plans designed to improve State workmen's compensation and occupational disease laws and programs, as they relate to compensation to miners for occupationally caused diseases and injuries arising out of employment in any coal mine;
         (3) designates such State coal mine inspection or safety agency as the sole agency responsible for administering grants under this section throughout the State, and contains satisfactory evidence that such agency will have the authority to carry out the purposes of this section;
         (4) gives assurances that such agency has or will employ an adequate and competent staff of trained inspectors qualified under the laws of such State to make coal mine inspections within such State;
         (5) provides for the extension and improvement of the State program for the improvement of coal mine health and safety in the State, and provides that no advance notice of an inspection will be provided anyone;
         (6) provides such fiscal control and fund accounting procedures as may be appropriate to assure proper disbursement and accounting of grants made to the States under this section;
         (7) provides that the designated agency will make such reports to the Secretary in such form and containing such information as the Secretary may from time to time require;
         (8) contains assurances that grants provided under this section will supplement, not supplant, existing State coal mine health and safety programs; and
         (9) meets additional conditions which the Secretary may prescribe in furtherance of, and consistent with, the purposes of this section.
     (c) The Secretary shall not finally disapprove any State application or modification thereof without first affording the State agency reasonable notice and opportunity for a public hearing.
     (d) Any State aggrieved by a decision of the Secretary under subsection (b) or (c) of this section may file within thirty days from the date of such decision with the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia a petition praying that such action be modified or set aside in whole or in part. The court shall hear such appeal on the record made before the Secretary. The decision of the Secretary incorporating his findings of fact therein, if supported by substantial evidence on the record considered as a whole, shall be conclusive. The court may affirm, vacate, or remand the proceedings to the Secretary for such further action as it directs. The filing of a petition under this subsection shall not stay the application of the decision of the Secretary, unless the court so orders. The provisions of section 106(a), (b), and (c) of this title shall not be applicable to this section.
     (e) Any State application or modification thereof submitted to the Secretary under this section may include a program to train State inspectors.
     (f) The Secretary shall cooperate with such State in carrying out the application or modification thereof and shall, as appropriate, develop and, where appropriate, construct facilities for, and finance a program of, training of Federal and State inspectors jointly. The Secretary shall also cooperate with such State in establishing a system by which State and Federal inspection reports of coal mines located in the State are exchanged for the purpose of improving health and safety conditions in such mines.
     (g) The amount granted to any coal mining State for a fiscal year under this section shall not exceed 80 per centum of the amount expended by such State in such year for carrying out such application.
     (h) There is authorized to be appropriated $3,000,000 for fiscal year 1970, and $5,000,000 annually in each succeeding fiscal year to carry out the provisions of this section, which shall remain available until expended. The Secretary shall provide for an equitable distribution of sums appropriated for grants under this section to the States where there is an approved application.

Economic Assistance

     . 504. (a) Section 7(b) of the Small Business Act, as amended, is amended--
         (1) by striking out the period at the end of paragraph (4) and inserting in lieu thereof "; and "; and
         (2) by adding after paragraph (4) a new paragraph as follows:
         "(5) to make such loans (either directly or in cooperation with banks or other lending institutions through agreeements to participate on an immediate or deferred basis) as the Administration may determine to be necessary or appropriate to assist any small business concern operating a coal mine in affecting additions to or alterations in the equipment, facilities, or methods of operation of such mine to requirements imposed by the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, if the Administration determines that such concern is likely to suffer substantial economic injury without assistance under this paragraph."
     (b) The third sentence of section 7(b) of such Act is amended by inserting "or (5)" after "paragraph (3)".
     (c) Section (4)(c)(1) of the Small Business Act, as amended, is amended by inserting "7(b)(5)," after "7(b)(4),".
     (d) Loans may also be made or guaranteed for the purposes set forth in section 7(b)(5) of the Small Business Act, as amended pursuant to the provisions of section 202 of the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965, as amended.

Inspectors; Qualifications; Training

     . 505. The Secretary may, subject to the civil service laws, appoint such employees as he deems requisite for the administration of this Act and prescribe their duties. Persons appointed as authorized representatives of the Secretary shall be qualified by practical experience in the mining of coal or by experience as a practical mining engineer or by education. Persons appointed to assist such representatives in the taking of samples of respirable dust for the purpose of enforcing title II of this Act shall be qualified by training, experience, or education. The provisions of section 201 of the Revenue and Expenditure Control Act of 1968 (82 Stat. 251, 270) shall not apply with respect to the appointment of such authorized representatives of the Secretary or to persons appointed to assist such representatives and to carry out the provisions of this Act, and, in applying the provisions of such section to other agencies under the Secretary and to other agencies of the Government, such appointed persons shall not be taken into account. Such persons shall be adequately trained by the Secretary. The Secretary shall develop programs with educational institutions and operators designed to enable persons to qualify for positions in the administration of this Act. In selecting persons and training and retraining persons to carry out the provisions of this Act, the Secretary shall work with appropriate educational institutions, operators, and representatives of miners in developing and maintaining adequate programs for the training and continuing education of persons, particularly inspectors, and where appropriate, the Secretary shall cooperate with such institutions in carrying out the provisions of this section by providing financial and technical assistance to such institutions.

Effect on State Laws

     . 506. (a) No State law in effect on the date of enactment of this Act or which may become effective thereafter shall be superseded by any provision of this Act or order issued or any mandatory health or safety standard, except insofar as such State law is in conflict with this Act or with any order issued or any mandatory health or safety standard.
     (b) The provisions of any State law or regulation in effect upon the operative date of this Act, or which may become effective thereafter, which provide for more stringent health and safety standards applicable to coal mines than do the provisions of this Act or any order issued or any mandatory health or safety standard shall not thereby be construed or held to be in conflict with this Act. The provisions of any State law or regulation in effect on the date of enactment of this Act, or which may become effective thereafter, which provide for health and safety standards applicable to coal mines for which no provision is contained in this Act or in any order issued or any mandatory health or safety standard, shall not be held to be in conflict with this Act.

Administrative Procedures

     . 507. Except as otherwise provided in this Act, the provisions of sections 551-559 and sections 701-706 of title 5 of the United States Code shall not apply to the making of any order, notice, or decision made pursuant to this Act, or to any proceeding for the review thereof.

Regulations

     . 508. The Secretary, the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, and the Panel are authorized to issue such regulations as each deems appropriate to carry out any provision of this Act.

Operative Date and Repeal

     . 509. Except to the extent an earlier date is specifically provided in this Act, the provisions of titles I and III of this Act shall become operative ninety days after the date of enactment of this Act, and the provisions of title II of this Act shall become operative six months after the date of enactment of this Act. The provisions of the Federal Coal Mine Safety Act, as amended, are repealed on the operative date of titles I and III of this Act, except that such provisions shall continue to apply to any order, notice, decision, or finding issued under that Act prior to such operative date and to any proceedings related to such order, notice, decision or findings. All other provisions of this Act shall be effective on the date of enactment of this Act.

Separability

     . 510. If any provision of this Act, or the application of such provision to any person or circumstance shall be held invalid, the remainder of this Act, or the application of such provision to any person or circumstance shall be held invalid, the remainder of this Act, or the application of such provision to persons or circumstances other than those as to which it is held invalid, shall not be affected thereby.

Reports

     . 511. (a) Within one hundred and twenty days following the convening of each session of Congress the Secretary shall submit through the President to the Congress and to the Office of Science and Technology an annual report upon the subject matter of this Act, the progress concerning the achievement of its purposes, the needs and requirements in the field of coal mine health and safety, the amount and status of each loan made pursuant to this Act, a description and the anticipated cost of each project and program he has undertaken under sections 301(b) and 501, and any other relevant information, including any recommendations he deems appropriate.
     (b) Within one hundred and twenty days following the convening of each session of Congress the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare shall submit through the President to the Congress and to the Office of Science and Technology an annual report upon the health matters covered by this Act, including the progress toward the achievement of the health purposes of this Act, the needs and requirements in the field of coal mine health, a description and the anticipated cost of each project and program he has undertaken under sections 301(b) and 501, and any other relevant information, including any recommendations he deems appropriate. The first such report shall include the recommendations of the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare as to necessary mandatory health standards, including his recommendations as to the maximum permissible individual exposure to miners from respirable dust during a shift.

Special Report

     . 512. (a). The Secretary shall make a study to determine the best manner to coordinate Federal and State activities in the field of coal mine health and safety so as to achieve (1) maximum health and safety protection for miners, (2) an avoidance of duplication of effort, (3) maximum effectiveness, (4) a reduction of delay to a minimum, and (5) most effective use of Federal inspectors.
     (b) The Secretary shall make a report of the results of his study to the Congress as soon as practicable after the date of enactment of this Act

Jurisdiction; Limitation

     . 513. In any proceeding in which the validity of any interim mandatory health or safety standard set forth in titles II and III of this Act is in issue, no justice, judge, or court of the United States shall issue any temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction restraining the enforcement of such standard pending a determination of such issue on its merits.

      December 30, 1969.