MSHA publishes rock dust final rule

Tina Grady Barbaccia

June 27, 2011

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has published the final rule on rock dust in the Federal Register.

Published on June 21, the final rule replaces MSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that was published September 23, 2010 (75 FR 57849). The final rule adopts the requirements contained in the ETS. Under the final rule, mine operators must maintain the incombustible content of combined coal dust, rock dust, and other dust to at least 80 percent in underground areas of bituminous coal mines.

The rule further requires that the incombustible content of such combined dust be increased 0.4 percent for each 0.1 percent of methane present. This final rule strengthens the protection of miners by minimizing the potential for a coal dust explosion in an underground coal mine.

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