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IMA-NA Addresses Trump's Energy Transition Team

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Thursday, December 15, 2016

IMA-NA participated in an "Energy Listening Session" hosted by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) with senior members of the Trump Transition Team responsible for energy issues.  IMA-NA President Mark Ellis addressed the group during the oil and natural gas session.  After introducing IMA-NA, he addressed the importance of industrial minerals in the hydraulic fracturing process, referencing silica sand, barite and bentonite.  These minerals are essential components of the hydraulic fracturing itself and in the drilling muds used during well development.  He stressed the importance of infrastructure to move the mineral products to the well site and then to move the oil and gas to refineries.  Finally, he advised the transition team that local restrictions on frac sand production were an apparent end-run effort to restrict hydraulic fracturing generally and that the incoming administration should work to ensure that the mineral resources necessary to enable energy development are not unduly regulated.

Tags:  energy  frac sand  fracking  hydraulic fracturing  silica  transition team  Trump 

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EPA Releases Study on the Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing on Drinking Water

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Thursday, December 15, 2016

On Tuesday, the EPA released its long-awaited final report evaluating the available scientific literature and data to assess the potential for activities in the hydraulic fracturing water cycle to impact the quality or quantity of drinking water resources.  It also identified factors that affect the frequency and severity of those impacts.  While EPA found scientific evidence that hydraulic fracturing can impact drinking water resources under some circumstances, it implicitly found that it did not in other circumstances. The final report deviates from the first version, which stated unequivocally that there was "no evidence that fracking systemically contaminates water". Thomas A. Burke, the E.P.A.’s science adviser, and deputy assistant administrator of the agency’s Office of Research and Development, addressed the change by stating EPA scientists couldn't quantitatively support the former conclusion.  Mr. Burke did go on to highlighting the data gaps and uncertainties that existed in the study which limited its ability to fully assess the potential impacts on drinking water resources and could not fully characterize the severity of impacts. Additionally, EPA stated it could neither calculate nor estimate the national frequency of impacts on drinking water resources. 

It's important to note that the report will contribute to the conversation surrounding the incoming Administration's stated policy to decrease regulations and increase investment in natural gas development and hydraulic fracturing. 

Additional information on the 666-page final report can be accessed through this link.

Tags:  administration  EPA  fracking  hydraulic fracturing  Regulations  study 

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Final Rule EPA's 2015 Revisions and Confidentiality for Data Elements Under the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule

Posted By Chris Greissing, Tuesday, December 13, 2016

In Friday’s Federal Register, EPA announced their final action on 2015 Revisions and Confidentiality Determinations for Data Elements Under the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule.  In the rule, EPA is amending specific provisions in the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule to streamline and improve implementation of the rule, to improve the quality and consistency of the data collected under the rule, and to clarify or provide minor updates to certain provisions that have been the subject of questions from reporting entities.  

IMA-NA had provided comments regarding Subpart CC of the rule which dealt specifically with Soda Ash Manufacturing. In our comments we pushed back on EPA’s proposal to amend Subpart CC to require reporting of additional data elements by soda ash producers because it would, among other things, needlessly increase the regulatory burden on companies without providing any meaningful benefit.

We are glad to report that we were successful in our efforts to persuade EPA to not implement those two proposed amendments, and that EPA opted to make no substantive amendments to Subpart CC for the rulemaking. They decided that “in response to comments and based on updated analysis as described in section III.P.2 of this preamble, the EPA is not finalizing the two proposed amendments to revise 40 CFR 98.296(a) and (b) that would have required reporting of the facility-level annual consumption of trona or liquid alkaline feedstock."  

To view the final rule, click here.

The IMA-NA comments on the rule are attached.  

Download File (PDF)

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MineFit Monday Move: Your EZ Exercise rX

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, December 12, 2016
This Holiday Season...and just for life in general, don’t rely on cardiovascular exercise to help you lose weight. Performing 30 minutes of moderate cardio activity (that means your heart rate is between 100-150 beats per minute, depending on your age, size, and gender) will garner ~300-500 calories. A few holiday cookies and you’re right back where you started.  

BUT, here’s the good news about cardio:  

(1) You can cure early-onset diabetes in as little as a week - as insulin resistance decreases almost immediately after starting an exercise program: engage in 3 days per week for 45 minutes  

(2) You can raise your base metabolic rate - which helps you burn more calories in a resting state: engage in 100 minutes per week and a little bit of weight lifting 

(3) You can get get smarter - exercise improves high level cognitive function, executive control, and mental sharpness: engage in two days per week of 30 minutes when you need to get sharp!  

So, hit 100 minutes per week of elevated heart rate activity and sustain your brain and your body - it doesn’t take that much to make a huge difference.  

Your MineFit Coach,

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National Miners Day - December 6th

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Monday, December 5, 2016

Tomorrow, December 6th, is National Miners Day. Designated by Congress in 2009, December 6th, is marked as a day of commemoration and appreciation for the more than 350,000 miners whose work allows for our modern lifestyles. As IMA-NA members are aware, the mining industry goes largely unrecognized by the wider public for the enormous contributions to the global economy and community.  National Miners Day is a wonderful opportunity in the United States to recognize your workforce and the miners whose hard work underpins so much of our modern world. 

IMA-NA and our staff would like to take the opportunity to extend appreciation and gratitude for our Producer Members and their workforce. Furthermore, we would like to encourage IMA-NA members to share that tomorrow is National Miners Day with their employees, post to social media, or simply highlight your contributions to your community throughout the day tomorrow.

Click here to connect to the Facebook National Miners Day page.

Click here to read NIOSH's salute to Miners.

Click here to read MSHA's background on the day.

Tags:  education  facebook  msha  national miners day  NIOSH  outreach  social media 

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MineFit Monday Move: Foot Starters for Stress Relief

Posted By Darrell Smith, Monday, December 5, 2016

Do you know how much tension your FEET can hold, especially after a long day at work? Stiff feet and ankles can be quite uncomfortable - and can manifest in tension and anxiety. If your core strength is compromised, landing on your feet can be brutal because the core and trunk cannot properly decelerate the legs back down to the floor with each step you take.  

It’s important to walk softly and use your core to land gently on your foot. Also, these foot starters will help you get a leg up on foot/ankle pain and improve stress relief. 

Foot Starter Cues: 

(1) keep weight equally distributed on the inside and outside of the foot 
(2) keep your toes and heel aligned 
(3) try to create space between your arch and the floor to treat your foot like a hand and “grip” the floor 
(4) when walking, lift your knees up towards your chest a bit more so you don’t shuffle 
(5) try to keep your lower back flat and spine more aligned from top to bottom in walking and standing 

Foot and Ankle Exercises: 
(20 of each, first thing in the morning)

(1) Toe curling - wave “hi-hello” with your toes
(2) Flexion-extension of the ankle - give a nod with your foot
(3) Rolling of the ankle 10 circles each direction
(4) Inversion eversion - closely connected with the posterior tibialis, a commonly strained stabilizer muscle - the picture indicates this exercise!

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The Secret Algorithm for True Motivation

Posted By Darrell Smith, Friday, December 2, 2016

We begin with Extrinsic motivation. This refers to something in our environment: something to hold on to, someone to stimulate us to behave, press on, engage, perform, etc. The balance and the key is in finding the more solid form of motivation:  Intrinsic. This is the internal, self goal-oriented approach which negates the need for anything else but a staunch belief that YOU can do it. It is intrinsic motivation and a self-buried confidence which drives and catalyzes change and success. The Extrinsic motivators will get you started and pick you up when you are tired and need some help, but Intrinsic motivation will stay with you forever - if you can find it.  
When seeking motivation, use your toolbox: 

Photos of beauty in people and nature
Leadership and teamwork
Recognition of yourself and others 
Music, TV, coaching, prizes

Body awareness 
Your own High-Five System
Self-care and personal skill sets 
Systems for success in work and personal life 

Exercise Application:  Extrinsic is the equivalent to sitting on a chest press machine and pushing the weight you see fit.  Say, 12x at 40lbs. Intrinsic is standing up and telling your pectoral muscles, triceps, and shoulders to activate, knowing they are on, and then pushing any weight: 10lbs or 100lbs, feeling equally strong. It's not the weight you push. It's how you do it.

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First Friday Ask IMA - Post Election Update TODAY

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Friday, December 2, 2016

With the election finally over, DC is preparing for the start of a new Administration and Congressional Session in January. Republicans control both the legislative and executive branches, meaning there will be tremendous opportunity to enact their policy agenda. Please join IMA-NA staff today, December 2nd at 1:00pm EST to hear insights on how the Trump Administration's Cabinet choices could impact our industry, what the House and Senate are likely to focus on in the coming year, and how to get involved in shaping upcoming tax reform and the other issues important to the industrial minerals industry.


Click here to Register.

Tags:  administration  Congress  first friday  legislation  Legislators  politics  president  Regulations 

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MSHA RFI Comments and Diesel Exhaust Health Effects Partnership Meeting

Posted By Darrell Smith, Thursday, December 1, 2016
IMA-NA and its Diesel Emissions Task Force filed extensive comments on the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA) Request for Information on Exposure to Diesel Exhaust of Underground Miners (RFI). MSHA was soliciting information and data on approaches to controlling and monitoring miners’ exposures to diesel exhaust. Because of the carcinogenic health risk to miners from exposure to diesel exhaust, MSHA is reviewing the Agency’s existing standards and policy guidance. During the course of RFI proceedings, IMA-NA successfully requested that MSHA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) form a Diesel Health Effects Partnership with the mining industry, including both coal and metal/nonmetal mines, diesel engine manufacturers, and representatives of organized labor.  Partnership stakeholders will work together to better understand the evolving science on potential health effects, as well as current technologies and current mining practices. The Partnership will hold its inaugural meeting on December 8 in Washington, PA.

To view the RFI comments and information on the Partnership meeting, click here.

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Vote for Monica!

Posted By Darrell Smith, Tuesday, November 29, 2016
Vote for Monica Pampell, the MineFit Head Coach, to be recognized as one of the nation’s top Health Promotion Professionals. Your vote will help bring attention to IMA-NA, MineFit, and our favorite health leader. The contest is being sponsored by WELCOA, the national leader in workplace and corporate wellness programs.

Click here, create a login, and vote as many times as you like up to once an hour until December 17, 2016.

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