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Mine review commission proposes rule updating FOIA procedures

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Washington — The Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission is accepting comment on a proposed rule that would amend and update agency rules for implementing the Freedom of Information Act of 1966.

According to a notice of proposed rulemaking published in the Aug. 30 Federal Register, the measure, in accordance with the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016, would “ensure rapid and effective procedures for requesting information and processing requests under the FOIA” by enacting changes such as:

  • Clarifying the types of information a requester must provide to facilitate an FOIA search of the agency’s records
  • Adding circumstances under which expedited processing will be granted
  • Clarifying the FOIA appeals process
  • Increasing certain fees
 

FMSHRC, which handles appeals of citations and penalties assessed against mine operators by the Mine Safety and Health Administration, notes that it most recently made “substantive revisions” to FOIA procedural rules in December 2007.

The commission adds that even with the proposed changes – many of which would modify existing language and reorganize the layout of the official document – “the rules still retain much of the substantive practices and procedures currently in effect.”

The deadline to comment on the proposed rule is Sept. 29.

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