On March 22, 2007, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) published “Criteria and Procedures for Proposed Assessment of Civil Penalties,” implementing the civil penalty provisions of the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 (the “MINER Act”). The assessment criteria will have two significant impacts on the industry. First, the days of $60 “single” penalty assessments for “non-significant and substantial” violations are gone. Second, operators of large mines, those who repeatedly violate the same standard and those whose violations involve high degrees of negligence or gravity will undoubtedly feel the pinch of higher penalties. While the jury is still out on whether the new penalties will have an effect on health and safety, one thing is certain — it will hit everyone squarely in the pocketbooks.
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Reprinted with permission from Aggregates Manager