The Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health, and Senator Jay Rockefeller announced new regulation for coal dust.
The new federal regulation will limit coal dust exposure and improve enforcement against operators with unsafe dust levels in their mines.
The new rule includes more sampling at mines that have previously not taken basic measures to protect miners.
“New rule requires that sampling be conducted on consecutive shifts. Under the current rule that we've been operating under, mine operators are permitted to sample on consecutive days. Which means some shifts can go indefinitely without ever having an operator dust sample. We're closing that loop hole,” said Joe Main, Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health.
These rules will begin to go into affect August 1 of this year, with the last in place on August 1, 2016.