Mine review commission to receive funding boost

President Barack Obama last week signed a bill providing $22 million in supplemental funding to help reduce the number of cases before the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission.

Tasked with handling appeals of citations and penalties assessed against mine operators by the Mine Safety and Health Administration, the commission has been bogged down in recent years by a backlog of cases. FMSHRC will receive $3.8 million under the Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 4899) to help reduce the backlog, which has grown to more than 17,000 cases.

The Department of Labor will receive $18.2 million for MSHA to use toward enforcement and conference litigation related to the FMSHRC caseload. The funding also may be used for investigation into the Upper Big Branch Mine-South disaster, standards and rulemaking, and other organizational improvements.

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