Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) Proposes to Increase Penalties

February 13, 2015
On July 31, 2014, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) issued a proposed rule on Criteria and Procedures for Assessment of Civil Penalties under 30 CFR Part 100.  The proposal seeks to make several significant changes to the existing Part 100. MSHA states that the proposal is designed to address the Federal MSHA Review Commission’s alleged inconsistencies in assessing penalties independent of the Secretary’s penalty regulations.  MSHA believes its authority is being undermined by the inconsistencies, and that it encourages mine operators to file penalty contests in the hopes of obtaining lower penalties.  Additionally, MSHA states that the Review Commission lacks the authority to assess new penalties according to established statutory criteria and that it interferes with the Secretary’s ability to establish a penalty policy that serves as a deterrent to mine operators. Based on member feedback, AGC of America will retain outside counsel to submit comments highlighting industry concerns with the proposed changes.  The deadline for submitting comments has been extended to Tuesday, March 31, 2015. For more information, please contact Kevin Cannon at or (703) 837-5410. 
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