Obama Order Could Delay Mine Dust Monitor Safety Rules

January 26, 2009

Proposed rules that would allow more modern dust monitors in U.S. coal mines may be delayed by President Barack Obama’s order requiring federal agencies to halt pending regulations while his administration reviews them.

Mine Safety and Health Administration spokeswoman Amy Louviere says the U.S. Department of Labor is working to identify rules affected by the directive and take necessary action.

MSHA proposed the coal dust monitor rule Jan. 16, four days before Obama took office. The proposal would set new criteria for government regulators to use when approving personal dust monitors for coal mines.

The industry now relies on 1970s vintage technology, which the government wants to replace.

Coal dust is a big issue in mining because it can cause black lung disease.

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