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The Mine Act gives the Secretary of Labor authority to develop, promulgate, and revise mining health or safety standards for the protection of life and prevention of injuries.  Rulemaking is the process for developing and issuing rules (rules are also referred to as "regulations" or "standards"). The process can lead to the issuance of a new rule, an amendment to an existing rule, or the repeal of an existing rule.

Active Rulemakings

Federal Register Documents

Access MSHA Federal Register documents including Proposed Rules, Final Rules, Technical Amendments, Petitions for Modification, Requests for Information, Advance Notices of Proposed Rulemaking, Emergency Temporary Standards, Notices and Meetings, and others published since 1994.  
MSHA Final Preambles and Rule Language starting in 1995

Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions

Twice a year, each federal agency publishes a Regulatory Agenda listing all regulations that the agency plans to issue or has recently completed. Find MSHA’s current Regulatory Agenda, under the Department of Labor. Find MSHA’s historical regulatory agenda published since Fall 1995.

Information Collections

The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 requires that agency information collections minimize duplication and burden on the public, have practical utility, and support the proper performance of the agency's mission.

The Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) presents an  
Information Collection Request (ICR) Dashboard, which provides the public with direct access to agency information collection requests sent to OIRA for review under the Paperwork Reduction Act.  MSHA’s existing information collections are renewed every three years.   
View MSHA's Information collections that are open for public comment.

Supporting and Related Material

Incorporations by Reference

Incorporation by reference was established by statute and allows federal agencies to meet the requirement to publish regulations in the Federal Register by referring to materials already published elsewhere. For an incorporation to be valid, the Director of the Federal Register must approve it. The legal effect of incorporation by reference is that the material is treated as if it were published in full in the Federal Register (5 U.S.C. 552(a)). This material, like any other properly issued regulation, has the force of law. For more information, see 1 CFR Part 51

Access a list of standards incorporated by MSHA at or on the Code of Federal Regulations website.

Federal Rulemaking Process

There are several steps in this process including a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), a comment period, evaluations (such as economic and risk assessment analyses), and possible interim rules. In most cases, a Final Rule is issued. In addition, the Secretary has the authority to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) under section 101(b) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) as amended by the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response (MINER) Act of 2006, 30 U.S.C. 811(b).  An ETS is issued when the danger to miners is so grave that immediate action is necessary. An ETS can be enforced immediately while concurrently serving as a proposed rule. A final rule must be published within nine months of publication of an ETS.

The Federal Docket Management System is available to the public through the portal and is a complete record of rulemakings, guidance documents, adjudicatory actions, peer reviews, data quality and other documents. The rulemaking docket is the file in which MSHA places all of the rulemaking documents it issues (e.g., the NPRM, hearing notices, extensions of comment periods, and final rules), supporting documents that it prepares (e.g., risk assessment and economic analyses), studies that we relied on that are not readily available to the public, and all public comments related to the rulemaking (e.g., comments that may be received in anticipation of the rulemaking, comments received during the comment period, and other related documents).

Detailed information on the Rulemaking Process, including descriptions and examples of the different types of rules, is available on the US Department of Labor's Rulemaking page.

Please visit our Rulemaking Frequently Asked Questions Page for additional information.