Emergency Response Plan Dispute Proceedings and Related Procedural Rules
The Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission (the ``Commission'') is an independent adjudicatory agency that provides hearings and appellate review of cases arising under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (the ``Mine Act''). Hearings are held before the Commission's Administrative Law Judges, and appellate review is provided by a five-member Review Commission appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. On July 18, 2006, the Commission published an interim rule to implement the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 (the ``MINER Act''), which amended the Mine Act to improve the safety of miners, particularly in underground coal mines. The MINER Act provides for Commission review of disputes arising over emergency response plans for underground coal mines. The interim rule established procedures for the submission and consideration of such disputes. The Commission invited public comment on the interim rule. The Commission has reviewed the comments on the interim rule and has decided to make certain changes in the rule. This publication makes final changes to Rule 24, the rule designed to implement the MINER Act. In connection with revising Rule 24, the Commission is also amending four of its other procedural rules to make them consistent with Rule 24.