Rules protecting coal miners' dust exposure up for review

December 16, 2017 - 3:31 am
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Three years after the Obama administration lowered the allowable limits for miners' exposure to coal dust, the Trump administration has brought the standards up for review.

Federal mining regulators indicated Thursday that they are reconsidering rules meant to protect underground miners from breathing coal and rock dust — the cause of black lung — and diesel exhaust, which can cause cancer.

Attorney Tony Oppegard, who represents miners in safety cases, calls it "a bad signal" for miners, adding that the Trump administration is aligned with mine operators who have opposed the stronger regulations.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has asked for public comment on whether standards "could be improved or made more effective or less burdensome by accommodating advances in technology, innovative techniques, or less costly methods."

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