Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 12, 2012

Black lung rule stalled 2 years after introduction


Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A federal plan to tackle the resurgence of black lung disease by controlling coal dust in U.S. mines is stalled.

The Charleston Gazette (http://bit.ly/QpjRCy) says a rule the Mine Safety and Health Administration introduced two years ago this month hasn't reached the White House Office of Management and Budget. That office must review it before a final version is issued.

MSHA chief Joe Main can't explain why. He says his agency finished its work and the rule is moving through the process.

But the United Mine Workers of America is eager to see changes implemented.

Spokesman Phil Smith says that if anyone is worried the bill will be assailed by Republicans as another job-killing regulation, they should remember black lung kills miners.

Some 10,000 died nationwide between 1995 and 2004.

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Information from: The Charleston Gazette, http://www.wvgazette.com