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DOL/MSHA RIN: 1219-AB64 Publication ID: Spring 2009 
Title: Occupational Exposure to Coal Mine Dust (Lowering Exposure Limit) 
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 (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 that MSHA consider lowering the coal dust PEL. Recent NIOSH data indicates increased prevalence of CWP "clusters" in several geographical areas; particularly in the Southern Appalachian Region. MSHA will publish a proposed rule to lower the coal mine dust permissible exposure limit. 
Agency: Department of Labor(DOL)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Long-Term Actions 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: uncollected 
CFR Citation: 30 CFR 70    30 CFR 71    30 CFR 75    30 CFR 90   
Legal Authority: 30 USC 811    30 USC 812   
Legal Deadline:  None
Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  04/00/2011    
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Undetermined  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Related RINs: Related to 1219-AA81 
Agency Contact:
Patricia W. Silvey
Director, Office of Standards, Regulations, and Variances
Department of Labor
Mine Safety and Health Administration
1100 Wilson Boulevard, Room 2350,
Arlington, VA 22209-3939
Phone:202 693-9440
Fax:202 693-9441
Email: silvey.patricia@dol.gov