MSHA publishing rock dust final rule

Tina Grady Barbaccia

June 20, 2011

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) will publish a final rule in the Federal Register on Tuesday, June 21, 2011. 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 final 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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