NEW MINE-SAFETY BILL INTRODUCED IN HOUSE
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Reps. Nick J. Rahall (D-W.Va.) and George Miller (D-Calif.) have introduced the Robert C. Byrd Mine Safety Protection Act of 2013 (H.R. 1373), legislation aimed at strengthening national efforts to protect miners' health and safety. The new legislation builds on a similar bill that Rahall and Miller introduced last year to amend the federal Mine Act Safety and Health Act of 1977 and subsequent laws. The bill introduced last year did not pass. Of concern to the aggregates industry is that this bill treats all mining the same way. Although this legislation is unlikely to progress in the 113th Congress, NSSGA must ensure that members of Congress understand the difference between aggregates mining and other mining sectors.
New provisions in H.R. 1373 would require mine operators to maintain records of rock dust purchases, so the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration can verify efforts made by operators to prevent the build-up of explosive coal dust. Made from crushed limestone, rock dust counters the combustibility of coal dust – which often has initiated larger explosions in underground mines.
The bill also requires MSHA to develop a "staffing succession plan to ensure that MSHA retains sufficient numbers of trained personnel to help keep miners safe." The new legislation also would allow immediate family members of victims of every mine disaster to name a representative to participate in government investigations of those disasters. Click [HERE] to review other provisions in the legislation.
NSSGA will continue meetings with members of Congress to educate them on the difference between aggregates mining and other mining.