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Shelter-in-place  strategies to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has disrupted the U.S. workplace. However, unlike a typical office environment, mines cannot operate without employees on property. In order to prepare for the outbreak, every employer should spend some time assessing the risk to their workforce and confirming whether or not they have reason

After Congress passed the Safe Explosives Act to address explosives safety and security following 9/11, the law and the regulations promulgated in its wake applied broadly to everyone who acquires or uses explosives. Since ATF’s regulations weren’t specifically written for mining and ATF personnel are not usually drawn from the mining industry, there easily could

Back in November, MSHA head David Zatezalo indicated that MSHA’s initiative to “blur the lines” between coal and M/NM enforcement had ended. As an apparent follow-up, in late December MSHA released a new, unified M/NM and coal inspection handbook, and has now started training investigators on the new handbook.


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D.C. Circuit Upholds USEPA Decision to Not Require Financial Assurance Under CERCLA for Hardrock Mining

We have previously blogged (in June 2019 and 2017) on a proposed rule released during the final days of the Obama Administration which required hardrock mines to provide financial assurance demonstrating they are able to fund the costs associated with the future cleanup of the mines under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), the federal statute designed to address releases of hazardous substances and the cleanup of hazardous waste sites nationwide. In December 2017, the USEPA stated its intention not to issue the final rule, finding that there was no need for any CERCLA financial assurance mechanism for operating hardrock mines based on existing federal and state programs as well as modern mining practices. Several environmental organizations filed suit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, challenging the USEPA’s decision not to issue the rule.
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Mark Savit recently published an article in Coal Age about the effect of MSHA regulations on the ability of the mining industry to take advantage of improving technology in the safety arena. Read it here.

“Each case of advanced black lung disease is an entirely preventable tragedy and represents mine operators’ unwillingness to adequately control mine dust exposures, and safety regulators failure to set, monitor and enforce standards necessary to protect miners,” writes our Erik Dullea. Learn more in his April piece via Coal Age.