MSHA to add staff, tighten enforcement
President Barack Obama is proposing a slight increase in funding for federal mine safety enforcement, but wants to cut spending on the cleanup of abandoned coal mines, according to The Charleston Gazette. In May, the administration unveiled its figures for the 2010 budget, which included a nearly 2-percent, $7 million increase in funding for the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Metal/non-metal enforcement would increase by nearly 5 percent, according to the newspaper.
The budget would include funds for 15 additional enforcement personnel for MSHA in the metal/non-metal section. According to the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association’s eDigest & Washington Watch newsletter, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis said, “Under my watch, enforcement of our labor laws will be intensified to provide an effective deterrent to employers who put their workers’ lives at risk. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and MSHA will be about workers — not voluntary programs and alliances.”