"US Announces Sweeping Reforms To Protect Coal Miners From Black Lung"

"MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — After almost two decades of reports, hearings, failed proposals and political wrangling, federal regulators on Wednesday announced sweeping changes to protect coal miners from black lung disease.

'This is a historical day for coal miners in this country,' said Joe Main, the head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, as he looked out at a packed atrium — with at least four dozen miners and family members sitting front and center — at a government research facility here. 'We’re issuing a new rule that’s going to change your lives.'

During the announcement, which featured testimonials by individual miners, Main and Labor Secretary Tom Perez outlined the details of the long-awaited rule. It reduces the amount of disease-causing dust allowed in mines, requires new technology that would make possible continuous monitoring of dust levels and closes a host of loopholes that have allowed companies to put workers at risk."

Chris Hamby reports for the Center for Public Integrity April 23, 2014.

Source: Center for Public Integrity, 04/24/2014