UMWA Gives "Qualified Support" to Coal Dust Rule
WASHINGTON (AP) - The United Mine Workers of America is giving "qualified support" to the Obama administration's new rule aimed at cutting the amount of coal dust in coal mines.
The union said Monday that it approves of many parts of the rule, which was issued last month. Among them is a reduction in the overall dust standard from 2.0 to 1.5 milligrams per cubic meter of air.
"This is a step forward in the fight to end black lung," UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts said. "While there are many things in this rule we are pleased to see, there are some that we are not. We hope that, as the stakeholders move forward in understanding and implementing this rule, we can get more clarity from MSHA as to how it will actually be applied and enforced in an active working coal mine environment."
The union says it is concerned that dust monitors would be required only in coal-producing sections of mines.
Still, the union says on balance the rule should lead to a reduction of black lung disease.
The National Mining Association and others have challenged the new rule in court.
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