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UMWA statement on release of respirable dust rule by MSHA

April 24, 2014
For immediate release?: 

[TRIANGLE, VA] United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) International President Cecil E. Roberts issued the following statement today:

"The UMWA has long been the leading advocate of erasing the scourge of coal workers' pneumoconiosis, or black lung, from our nation's mines.

After the recent uptick in black lung cases among working miners, it became clear to us that either the allowable dust limits were too high, operators weren't following the law, or the law wasn't being enforced stringently enough. I have said previously that it is probably a combination of all of those factors.

"The respirable dust rule issued yesterday by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is long, detailed and complex. We want to make sure we fully understand not just the theory behind the rule, but how it will be put into practical application in an actual working environment.

"We will have representatives participating in today's stakeholders meeting that MSHA is holding, at which we hope to get many of our questions answered so that we can make the most informed decision we can about this rule."

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