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Image Matters

By R. Brian Hendrix

Every mine operator knows (or should know) the image the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has of an operator matters when it comes to enforcement, at least in terms of day-to-day enforcement. In other words, if MSHA’s perception or view of a particular mine operator — you, for example — is that it is trying to do the right thing and is playing it straight or honest with it, then it will be less likely to spend extra time at your mines and will be more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt when it comes to compliance issues, plan approvals and the like. How you respond to MSHA on a daily basis — particularly how you respond to enforcement actions — also matters.

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MSHA Boasts A ‘Real Game-Changer’ While Judge Calls POV a ‘Rigged Game’

By Henry Chajet

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MSHA Takes Round Three in POV Fight

By R. Brian Hendrix

On September 29, the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission issued its latest decision in a pattern of violations (POV) saga of cases, Secretary of Labor v. Brody Mining LLC. Not surprisingly, the commission has now made it far easier for the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to establish a pattern of violations under Section 103(e) of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Act. The commission’s most recent decision will likely be appealed, and other litigation challenging the validity of MSHA’s pattern rule is already pending in federal court. In the meantime, MSHA will likely be emboldened by the commission’s latest decision.

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Is Handling Paperwork the Weakest Link in a MSHA Defense Strategy?

By Avi Meyerstein

You knew you would contest that Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) citation even before you saw it in writing. You would fight it all the way to the Supreme Court if you had to. If the inspector was right, you might have to change your mining methods mine-wide to avoid future citations. At that moment, only one thought provided comfort: “At least I’ll have my day in court.”

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State Marijuana Legislation Will Impact Miners

By Matthew F. Nieman and Linda Otaigbe

While marijuana remains an illegal drug under federal law, 23 states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing the use of medical marijuana in some form. Four states, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska, and the District of Columbia, have legalized marijuana for recreational use. A number of states have decriminalized possession of marijuana as well, including Colorado and Washington, both of which allow use in small amounts for users over 21.

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