Saturday, June 04, 2005

Well, Not Exactly

Here's an AP story, with the headline:
"New rule restricts miners' exposure to diesel exhaust"

It isn't a new rule, and it doesn't tighten exposure limits.

Industry and labor have been awaiting this latest iteration of a rule originally published in 2001, which MSHA is revising due to a legal challenge by mine operators.

The agency used a Friday conference call with selected reporters to announce the latest final rule in its metal/nonmetal diesel particulate rulemaking project. MSHA hasn't yet posted the rule or a press release on its website, so the details are not clear at this point.


MSHA first published a new regulation addressing metal and nonmetal miners' exposure to diesel particulate matter (DPM) on January 19, 2001. Industry challenged the rule in court.

Rather than hacking through a full knock-down drag-out litigation process, MSHA and industry decided to try for settlement. After additional studies in mines, MSHA agreed to make some revisions in the final rule. The first set of revisions was finalized in 2002. The current revisions follow from a proposal the agency published for comment in August 2003. More is to come.

AP: "MSHA in 2001 restricted the level of diesel particulates to which miners could be exposed in mines that produce a range of products, from copper to uranium. Friday's announcement doesn't adjust that level but changes the way it is measured."

But it looks like that will be next, as MSHA says in its latest rulemaking agenda, "In a separate rulemaking, the Agency will propose a rule to revise the final concentration limit of 160 micrograms per cubic meter of air."

Rulemaking agenda:


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