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Administrative Law Matters

By FindLaw Staff on March 23, 2010 10:08 AM

National Mining Ass'n. v. Mine Safety & Health Admin., No. 08-1241, involved a petition for review of the Mine Safety and Health Administration's (MSHA's) decision to enforce a final exposure limit standard addressing health risks presented by exposure of miners in metal and nonmetal underground mines to diesel particulate matter (DPM) in diesel exhaust.  The court of appeals denied the petition, on the grounds that 1) there was no inconsistency between MSHA's earlier position that it could enforce the DPM standard of 160 TC and its statement in 2006 that to enforce the standard it needed "to validate a TC sample result, which cannot be done without an appropriate conversion factor for EC at that level"; 2) an agency does not enact a new rule when a transition rule expires or when the agency decides not to modify a rule, states that additional study is needed, or concludes that no new transition rule is needed; and 3) only Department of Labor entities could be proper respondents to a petition filed pursuant to the Mine Act.

Vietnam Vets. of Am. v. Shinseki, No. 09-5260, concerned an action alleging that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) violated the Administrative Procedure Act and the Constitution because of the average time it took the VA to process veterans' claims.  The court of appeals affirmed the dismissal of the action, on the ground that APA Section 704 precluded the suit because that section authorized review only if a party lacked an adequate remedy, and any veteran could bring an unreasonable delay action in the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

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