MSHA - Whose Plan Is It?

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The frequency of this question being posed to coal lawyers has increased dramatically in the past few years. In particular, issues about ventilation and respirable dust compliance as well as extended cuts have frequently been raised in the context of plan disputes. The question that arises from the discussion of these issues is simply "what do we do if we disagree with MSHA about a plan provision?" In addition to the time-honored approach of requesting a meeting with the District Manager and seeking to work things out1, there is another procedure that exists in MSHA's Program Policy Manual which addresses this topic.

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