MSHA Extends Comment Period on HazCom Standard

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has published a notice in the Federal Register announcing a delay in the effective date of the interim final rule for hazard communication.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has published a notice in the Federal Register announcing a delay in the effective date of the interim final rule for hazard communication.

The rule requires that operators meet new standards related to chemicals in the mining industry such as maintaining written plans for hazardous materials.

Originally, the interim final rule was slated to go into effect on Oct. 3, 2001. The new effective date is June 30, 2002.

"There was some concern and confusion within the mining community about their compliance obligations under the interim final rule," said MSHA Administrator David Lauriski. "Re-opening the record for additional public hearings and comment will enable us to put together a regulation that best reflects the mining community''s concerns and promotes the public interest."

MSHA will hold seven public hearings around the country in September and October. A schedule of the public hearings is available on MSHA''s Web site at www.msha.gov/REGS/FEDREG/FINAL/2001finl/01-21784.

The agency will also accept written comments by e-mail, fax or regular mail until Oct. 17.

by Virginia Foran

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