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Committee Changes Miners Bill Language

The House Education and Labor Committee changed language in the Miner Safety and Health Act of 2010, (H.R. 5663) in response to requests by a coalition of non-coal-mining entities that has been working for some time to inform the committee members that non-gas-producing mines should not be included in the bill.

Pam Whitted of the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association told IDR on July 22 that the wording was changed at the last minute – just before the committee voted on the final version, to the relief of members of the coalition, which includes groups representing aggregate producers, limestone mines, Portland cement producers and industrial mineral producers.

Aaron Albright, deputy communications director of the House Committee on Education and Labor told IDR that “Section 604 of the bill limits the applicability of the bill to underground coal mines and other underground mines which are ‘gassy.’ Gassy mines emit methane or other flammable gases and can explode. Both surface and underground sand and gravel, stone, limestone, most minerals and cement are exempted from the scope of the bill.”

Whitted said that their group was pleasantly surprised by the last minute change, which they had been working long and hard to bring about.

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