Print Page   |   Contact Us
@IMA-NA
Blog Home All Blogs
Quick news on topics of interest to the Industrial Minerals Industry

 

Search all posts for:   

 

Top tags: Regulations  EPA  legislation  Congress  safety and health  education  MineFit  industrial minerals industry  msha  outreach  administration  first friday  minerals science  health  associate member  Senate  OSHA  usgs  comments  webinar  wotus  IMA-NA  MSIC  NIOSH  2015 annual meeting  community  member outreach  Monday Moves  monica pampell  Trump 

MSHA Publishes Revised Final Workplace Examination Rule

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Monday, April 9, 2018

MSHA published its revised final "Examinations of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines" rule in today's Federal Register. This final action amends a rule MSHA issued in January 2017.

The revised rule requires that:

  • A competent person examines each working place for adverse conditions. The working place must be examined at least once each shift, before work begins or as miners begin work in that place.
  • The operator must initiate appropriate corrective action.
  • The operator must promptly notify miners in the affected area if the adverse conditions are not corrected before miners are potentially exposed.
  • The operator must withdraw all persons from the affected area if the adverse condition may present an imminent danger.
  • The operator must create a record before the end of the shift, which must include:
    • The name of the person conducting the examination;
    • The location of all areas examined;
    • A description of each adverse condition identified that is not corrected promptly; and
    • The date when the described condition is corrected.
  •  The operator must make the record available to MSHA and the miners’ representatives.

 

MSHA will hold a series of six public meetings around the country to inform and educate the mining community about the requirements of the final rule.

  • May 1          Bloomington, IL
  • May 15        Birmingham, AL
  • May 17        Pittsburgh, PA
  • May 22        Reno, NV
  • May 24        Dallas, TX
  • May 31        Denver, CO

To read the final rule click here

To get more information on the public meetings click here

Tags:  examinations of working places  final rule  MSHA  Regulations  rulemaking  safety  safety and health 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

IMA-NA Comments on Draft List of Critical Minerals

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Monday, March 19, 2018

On February 16th, the Department of Interior published their Draft List of Critical Minerals. This Draft List is the next step in implementing President Trump's goals set in Executive Order 13817, “A Federal Strategy To Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals,” issued on December 20, 2017. The Executive Order recognizes the importance of mineral commodities generally, but specifically certain mineral commodities vital to the security and prosperity of the United States. The Secretary of the Interior’s Draft List of Critical Minerals (“Draft List” or “List”) similarly recognizes the importance of mineral commodities generally, with a particular focus on 35 minerals or mineral material groups currently considered critical. 

It is important to note that the Draft List includes barite as a critical mineral. IMA-NA is clearly supportive of the inclusion of barite on the List, but also sees the development of a standard methodology for evaluating our mineral supply chain as a big step in the government prioritizing mineral resources. 

Click here to read IMA-NA's comments

Tags:  administration  barite  critical minerals  department of interior  DOI  minerals science  president  Regulations  Trump 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Small Business Administration Regulatory Reform Roundtable Schedule

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Thursday, March 1, 2018

As part of the Administration's ongoing efforts to reduce the regulatory burden on businesses, the Small Business Administration (SBA) is conducting a series of Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables across the country. These Roundtables will provide another forum for the SBA to hear directly from small businesses about what regulations concern them the most. In March, the SBA will be convening meetings in the following cities:

· Detroit, Michigan;
· Milwaukee, Wisconsin;
· San Antonio, Texas;
· Houston Texas; and
· Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

 

Below you can find the information for each Roundtable as well as the links to RSVP. IMA-NA continues to be engaged in the conversation, highlighting regulations that impact our industry; but we encourage IMA-NA members to take advantage of the opportunity to speak directly to the SBA in your communities. 

Regulatory Reform Roundtables– March 2018 Schedule of Events

 

Tuesday, March 13th — Detroit, Michigan 

8:30 am – 12:30 pm Regulatory Reform Roundtable

Woodward Ballroom at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Detroit Southfield, 28100 Franklin Road, Southfield, MI 48034

Information and Registration link

 

Friday , March 16th — Milwaukee, WI 

8:30 am - 12:30 pm Regulatory Reform Roundtable

Schlitz Park, 1555 N Rivercenter Dr., Conference Room #3, Milwaukee, WI 53212

Information and Registration link

*SBA Administrator Linda McMahon will be in attendance

 

Monday, March 19th — San Antonio, TX 

8:30 am – 12:30 pm Regulatory Reform Roundtable

UTSA Downtown Campus, Durango Building, SBDC Training Room, 501 W. Cesar Chavez Blvd., San Antonio, Texas, 78207

Information and Registration link 

 

Tuesday, March 20th — Houston, TX 

8:30 am – 12:30 pm Regulatory Reform Roundtable

Marriott West Loop by the Galleria, 1750 West Loop S., Houston, Texas, 77027

Information and Registration link

 

Thursday, March 22nd — Philadelphia, PA 

8:30 am – 12:30 pm Regulatory Reform Roundtable

Paul Peck Alumni Gallery at Drexel University, 32nd and Market Streets, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Information and Registration link

Tags:  administration  Regulations  regulatory agenda  SBA  Small Business Administration  Trump 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

EPA and Corps Finalize WOTUS Applicability Date

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Today, the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers announced they have finalized the WOTUS applicability date proposal. The importance of the finalization of this extension of the applicability of the 2015 WOTUS rule cannot be understated. Last week's Supreme Court ruling opened the possibility for the 2015 Rule to go into effect, once the 6th District's nationwide stay was lifted.  Since the nationwide stay was issued, waters have continued to be protected under the pre-existing WOTUS definition and state rules, and the government has issued over 21,000 determinations establishing federal jurisdiction under the pre-existing WOTUS definition.  Luckily Administrator Pruitt and the EPA had the foresight to issue a proposal to push the applicability of the 2015 Rule for two years, while the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers propose and finalize a new version and interpretation of "waters of the US". Just last week the applicability proposal was sent over to OMB for review and there was a question whether the Administration would be able to finalize the applicability date in time.

This rule is a prudent and measured step to preserve the status quo and provide regulatory continuity for all stakeholders while EPA and the Corps engage in rulemaking to consider whether to repeal the 2015 rule and, if so, how to replace the 2015 Rule with a new well-founded, protective, and clear definition of WOTUS.

IMA-NA and our coalition partners are pleased by the EPA’s and the Corps’ quick action to avoid needless regulatory uncertainty and legal risk for mining and farming operations, developers, small businesses, and other land owners.  Absent this action by the agencies, the result would be months of additional litigation, regulatory chaos, and legal risk for countless land owners. 

To read the Final Rule click here

To read the Press Release click here

Tags:  Army Corps of Engineers  Clean Water Act  EPA  Regulations  Regulators  WOTUS 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

EPA Announces Withdrawal of "once-in, always-in" policy

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Monday, January 29, 2018

On Friday, the EPA announced the withdrawal of a decades old classification policy under the Clean Air Act. The policy of "once-in, always-in" has been the standard for designating sources of air emissions as either "major sources" or "area sources", since 1995. The EPA defines the two classifications in the following manner: 

a “major source” as a one that emits, or has the potential to emit, 10 tons per year of any hazardous air pollutant, or 25 tons per year or more of any combination of hazardous air pollutants. Sources with emissions below this threshold are classified as “area sources.” Different control standards apply to the source depending on whether or not it is classified as a “major source” or an “area source.”

The policy of "once-in, always-in" meant that if sources crossed the threshold into the major source designation, the facility could never be considered an area source again. Stakeholders have argued this policy disincentivizes companies from working towards lowering their emissions once they've been classified as "major sources". The ability for companies and facilities to bring their emissions down to lower levels and have their status reflect those efforts is a positive step in providing more regulatory flexibility. The EPA hopes this will incentivize emissions reductions and will reduce regulatory inefficiency and burden. Opponents of this decision hold the opinion this change in policy is simply loosening air emissions standards for polluters. 

IMA-NA is supportive of EPA's ongoing work to update and revise their regulatory framework to provide commonsense policies that balance environmental protections with good business practices.

To read the press release click here

Tags:  clean air act  environment  EPA  Regulations  regulatory agenda 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Supreme Court Rules on the Waters of the US Case

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Monday, January 22, 2018

This morning the Supreme Court issued their ruling in the Waters of the US case related to which courts have jurisdictional primacy in challenges to the Clean Water Act. The Court was of the unanimous opinion that challenges must be reviewed in federal district courts first rather than in the appeals courts. The promulgation of the 2015 Clean Water Rule set off litigation across the country in both district and appeals courts. The Supreme Court decision provides clarity on where to go to resolve disputes. The choice of court is significant because it affects the resources needed to litigate the merits of challenges, sets the statute of limitations for filing lawsuits and helps determine whether actions can be challenged in subsequent civil or criminal proceedings.

The court found in favor of the National Association of Manufacturers, who brought the suit along with several states, industrial stakeholders, and some environmental groups. The Administration and some other environmental groups were on the losing side of this decision. This outcome complicates the current push to repeal and replace the 2015 Rule. With this ruling the 6th District's nationwide stay is thrown into question. While EPA Administrator Pruitt took action to prevent the immediate implementation of the 2015 Rule, in the event of this decision from the Supreme Court, next steps are uncertain at this point. The EPA issued a proposal in December to add a so-called applicability date to the regulation, meaning it could not be enforced until 2020. This proposal should theoretically provide the EPA enough time to finish and finalize a new version of the Clean Water Rule, without the 2015 Rule being enforceable in the interim. As we have been from the beginning IMA-NA and the Waters Advocacy Coalition will remain engaged as the next steps become clearer.

To read the Supreme Court opinion click here

Tags:  Clean Water Act  EPA  regulation  Regulations  SCOTUS  supreme court  wotus 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

FERC Rejects Proposed Rule to Reinvigorate Coal and Nuclear Production

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Wednesday, January 10, 2018

On January 8th, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or the Commission) unanimously rejected Secretary of Energy Perry's proposal for new regulations that would favor nuclear and coal powered energy production. Secretary Perry proposed the "Grid Reliability and Resilience Pricing" rulemaking as a way to address our national electric grid's reliability, but the move was seen as a way to help the two energy sectors that have been struggling recently. In the proposal, FERC was asked to favor power plants capable of storing a 90-day fuel supply on site, unlike renewable energy or natural gas plants. IMA-NA and NISA joined other stakeholders in asking FERC to reject the proposal on the grounds it would interfere with market forces by propping up older and less efficient plants that are struggling to compete with new energy sources. Specifically, this move would have handicapped the growing natural gas industry in the United States. Natural gas is a growing industry and one that provides low cost energy across the country for industrial, commercial, and individual consumers. IMA-NA is pleased with FERC's decision to reject this proposal.  It should be noted though, that the Commission initiated a new rule to look at the resilience of the electric grid in a more "holistic fashion". FERC has requested regional transmission operators submit information and materials to help the Commission decide what, if any, course of action is necessary to improve the resilience of the grid. Operators have 60 days to submit materials. 

To read the decision click here

To read the comments IMA-NA & NISA signed onto click here

Tags:  DOE  energy  FERC  natural gas  Regulations  Secretary Perry 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

IMA-NA Comments on ESA Mitigation Policies

Posted By Ariel Hill-Davis, Tuesday, January 9, 2018

On January 5th, IMA-NA and NISA submitted comments to the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS or Service) in response to the request for comments on the Service's current Endangered Species Act (ESA) mitigation policies. The request comes as each Department and Agency is reviewing regulations to carry out President Trump's Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs. The Service was specifically looking at the change in the mitigation policy under President Obama to recommend or require "net conservation gain" as the standard for mitigation plans. IMA-NA and NISA submitted comments urging the Service to remove the "net conservation gain" standard as it creates the opportunity for the costs of mitigation plans to grow exponentially without a clear outline of the limitations. Along with other industry groups we also feel the standard creates greater confusion and a lack of consistency for the implementation of mitigation programs across the country. Additionally, the Waters Advocacy Coalition (WAC) submitted comments urging the removal of "net conservation gain" from the FWS standards because it is inconsistent with the "no net loss" standard set by the Clean Water Act section 404 permitting rules. WAC argues "net conservation gain" could greatly disrupt and delay the permitting process due to the inconsistency.

To read the IMA-NA and NISA comments click here

To read the Waters Advocacy Coalition comments click here

Tags:  comments  CWA  ESA  FWS  mitigation policy  Regulations  WAC 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

IMA-NA Recommends Regs for Repeal, Replacement or Modification

Posted By Mark Ellis, Friday, December 15, 2017

In response to a request by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), IMA-NA has offered recommendations on regulations to repeal, replace or modify pursuant to President Trump’s Executive Order (E.O.) 13777, issued on February 24, 2017.  IMA-NA’s cover letter and its preliminary input are attached.


Download File (PDF)

 Attached Files:

Tags:  EO 13777  MSHA  regulations 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Trump Administration Unveils S&H Agenda for 2018

Posted By Mark Ellis, Friday, December 15, 2017

Yesterday the Trump administration released the Fall 2017 Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (Regulatory Agenda or Agenda).  The current Regulatory Agenda builds on regulatory/deregulatory actions taken by the Trump Administration in July 2017.  It contains a completely revised portal page (https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaMain) which provides highlights of overall changes the Trump Administration is pursuing in the regulatory space.  The Agenda also contains an introduction to the Fall 2017 Regulatory Plan by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA).  OIRA is the White House clearinghouse for agency regulatory actions.  The three-page document highlights the Trump Administration's approach to Executive Branch implementation of law through the regulatory process (https://www.reginfo.gov/public/jsp/eAgenda/StaticContent/201710/VPStatement.pdf).

Executive Order 12866 requires the semiannual publication of an agenda of regulations that contains a listing of all the regulations the Department of Labor expects to have under active consideration for promulgation, proposal, or review during the coming one-year period.  MSHA has five initiatives it intends to have under active consideration in the coming year.  MSHA is expected to continue to hold the rulemaking record open on its Request for Information on exposure of underground miners to diesel exhaust through a regulatory action taken in January 2018.  MSHA is expected to issue a first-ever Request for Information on its existing petitions for modification process.  That action is slated for April 2018.  The Final Rule on Examination of Working Places in Metal and Nonmetal Mines will take effect on June 2, 2018.

Another part of the Agenda identifies regulatory initiatives that are long-term initiatives.  Notably, MSHA's Respirable Crystalline Silica regulatory initiative is listed as "Next Action Undetermined," as is the case for Proximity Detection Systems for Mobile Machines in Underground Mines. 


Tags:  MSHA  OSHA  regulations  regulatory agenda 

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 
Page 1 of 5
1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5
Legal