House draft appropriations bill would prohibit regulations on I2P2, black lung

Washington – A draft of a House appropriations bill generally maintains current funding levels for both OSHA and the Mine Safety and Health Administration, but includes provisions prohibiting the development of key agency regulations.

Approved by the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee on July 18, the draft bill (.pdf file) would prohibit OSHA from developing an Injury and Illness Prevention Program Standard – a proposed regulation that agency administrator David Michaels considers his No. 1 priority. OSHA also would be banned from enforcing certain rules concerning residential fall protection requirements (.pdf file) and grain storage safety. Funding for OSHA’s Susan Harwood Training Grant Program – currently funded at almost $11 million – would be completely removed under the House bill.

The bill also would prohibit MSHA from developing a coal mine dust regulation to lower exposure among miners. MSHA has been pursuing such a regulation (.pdf file) in an effort to end a lung disease among coal workers known as "black lung.”

Funding under the House bill would be set at $560 million for OSHA and $371.8 million for MSHA, which is about $6 million and $2 million less, respectively, than the current budget.

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