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MSHA Issues Final Diesel Particulate Rule

Posted on May 23, 2006

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has issued its final rule for miners exposed to diesel particulate matter (DPM) from diesel exhaust in underground metal and nonmetal mines.

MSHA said the final rule phases in the DPM final limit of 160 micrograms of total carbon per cubic meter of air over a 2-year period, based on technological feasibility information in the record. On May 20, the first phase of the final limit of 308 micrograms of elemental carbon will become effective. On Jan. 20, 2007, the DPM limit will be reduced to 350 micrograms of total carbon per cubic meter of air. The final limit of 160 micrograms of total carbon per cubic meter of air will become effective on May 20, 2008.

The ruling says the mine operators must continue to use engineering and administrative controls, supplemented by respiratory protection when needed, to reduce miners' exposures to the prescribed limits, according to MSHA. Like the existing DPM limit, MSHA said it will enforce the final limits as permissible exposure limits (PEL).

The final rule, Diesel Particulate Matter Exposure of Underground Metal and Nonmetal Miners, is published in the Federal Register.

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