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MSHA tightens rock dust requirements

June 22, 2011

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Arlington, VA – The Mine Safety and Health Administration on June 21 published a final rule (.pdf file) strengthening rock dust requirements.

Applying rock dust, composed of pulverized limestone and other inert material, helps prevent coal dust explosions. The final rule increases the amount of incombustible dust required in bituminous coal mines to 80 percent from at least 65 percent, mirroring requirements in the Emergency Temporary Standard that MSHA issued in September 2010.

The rule is based on MSHA’s review of coal mine explosions and NIOSH recommendations.

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