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Mine review commission extends suspension of in-person hearings

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Washington — Citing risks presented by the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission has extended until July 10 a suspension of all in-person hearings, settlement judge conferences and mediations.

According to a notice published in the June 2 Federal Register, these proceedings may be conducted by videoconference or telephone at the discretion of a presiding judge.

“If the parties agree that an evidentiary hearing is not needed, cases may also be presented for a decision on the record,” the notice states, adding that the parties will be notified should a hearing require rescheduling.

 

FMSHRC, which handles appeals of citations and penalties assessed against mine operators by the Mine Safety and Health Administration, has issued three previous suspensions of in-person proceedings – on March 24, April 16 and May 18, respectively.

The commission’s Office of the Chief Administrative Law Judge will reassess the risks and determine before July 10 whether an additional suspension is warranted, the notice states.

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