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Int'l. Union, United Mine Wkrs. of Am. v. Mine Safety & Health Admin., No. 09-1014

By FindLaw Staff on October 27, 2010 9:36 AM

Petition for Review of Secretary of Labor Rules Granted in Part

In Int'l. Union, United Mine Wkrs. of Am. v. Mine Safety & Health Admin., No. 09-1014, a petition for review of the Secretary of Labor's rules on Refuge Alternatives for Underground Coal Mines, the court granted the petition in part where the miner training requirements at issue were arbitrary and capricious because the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) failed to explain the basis for them other than to state it relied upon its "knowledge and expertise."  However, the court denied the petition in part where the MSHA gave interested parties sufficient notice and opportunity for comment on the provision on minimum refuge volume per miner.

 

As the court wrote:  "Congress has addressed the problems of miner safety on various occasions, the questions here arising with respect to the Secretary of Labor's response to Congress' focus on refuge alternatives for underground coal mines. The International Union, United Mine Workers of America ("UMWA") petitions for review of the Refuge Alternatives for Underground Coal Mines, 73 Fed.Reg. 80,656 (Dec. 31, 2008) (codified at 30 C.F.R. pts. 7, 75) ("Final Rule"). The UMWA contends the provision on training violates statutory standards and, like the refuge volume provision, is arbitrary and capricious."

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