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FMSHRC RIN: 3079-AA00 Publication ID: Fall 2023 
Title: Changes to Commission Procedural Rules 

The Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission (FMSHRC or the Commission) is an independent adjudicatory agency that provides hearings and appellate review of cases arising under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act or the Act). The Commission has amended its procedural regulations governing proceedings before it, pertaining to matters falling within the jurisdiction of the Act.

The Commission last significantly revised its procedural rules, 29 CFR part 2700, in August 2006, 71 FR 44,190 (August 4, 2006).  More recently, the Commission identified several rules that required revision or clarification in order to aid the efficient adjudication of proceedings at the Commission’s trial and appellate levels.  For instance, confusion had arisen in discrimination proceedings brought pursuant to section 105(c)(3) of the Mine Act, 30 U.S.C. 815(c)(3), regarding when a decision on the merits of discrimination becomes ripe for review.  The Commission has therefore changed procedures relating to section 105(c)(3) discrimination proceedings in order to make them more consistent with procedures relating to discrimination proceedings brought pursuant to section 105(c)(2) of the Mine Act, 30 U.S.C. 815(c)(2).  Such changes are intended to provide greater clarity and to eliminate unnecessary delay. 

In order to provide transparency as to its processes, the Commission has issued both new rules and revisions to its current rules that reflect the Commission’s actual practices.  The Commission has added new Commission Procedural Rule 32, which pertains to motions to reopen orders that have become final as the result of a failure to make a timely filing.  The Commission has also issued new Commission Procedural Rule 72, which describes the method by which the Commission empanels Commissioners, as authorized by section 113(c) of the Mine Act, 30 U.S.C. 823(c).  The Commission has also added provisions to section 2700.5(e) for protecting sensitive commercial information, and for placing sensitive documents under Commission seal.  In addition, the Commission has issued numerous changes with respect to section 2700.80, which more fully describe the Commission’s process for investigating and making determinations in disciplinary proceedings.

Finally, the Commission has issued more technical changes.  A number of changes were necessitated by the evolution of the Commission’s electronic management of its dockets.  In addition, the Commission has issued a number of corrections and stylistic changes to word usage throughout its rules.

The final changes are described more fully in the following section-by-section analysis that will be in the rule's preamble. 

Agency: Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission(FMSHRC)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 29 CFR 2700   
Legal Authority: 30 U.S.C. 815, 820, 823 and 876   
Legal Deadline:  None
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  10/06/2020  85 FR 63047   
NPRM Comment Period End  12/07/2020 
Final Rule  04/00/2024 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Information URL:   Public Comment URL:  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Michael Cole
Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission
Phone:202 233-4018

Sarah Stewart
Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission
Phone:202 434-9957