Case Type Number: 
Statute (Common Name): 
MINER Act (amending the Mine Act)
Program Area: 
Health & Safety
Regulatory Authorities (CFR): 
29 C.F.R. § 2700.24
Filed By: 
Private Party/Individual
Brief Description of Case Type: 
Emergency Response Plan Dispute Proceedings: Recent amendments to the Mine Act require operators of underground coal mines to develop and adopt written emergency response plans (“ERPs”) that will provide for the evacuation of all miners endangered by an emergency and maintain those miners who are not able to evacuate. The Secretary is required to review and approve an operator’s plan. In the event of a dispute between the Secretary and an operator over the content of a plan, the Secretary will issue a citation to the operator. Thereafter, within 2 business days after the Secretary has issued the citation to the operator, the Secretary must send to the Commission and operator a document called a “referral.” A referral must include a summary of the plan dispute, a copy of the citation, a statement of the Secretary’s position with respect to the disputed plan provision, and a copy of the disputed plan provision. Within 5 days after the filing of the referral, the operator must file with the Commission and the Secretary a statement of its position. The operator and the Secretary must submit all relevant materials about the dispute to the Commission Administrative Law Judge assigned to the case within 15 calendar days after the referral was filed. If a Judge orders a hearing on the matter, the hearing must be held within 15 calendar days after the referral was filed. The Judge must issue a decision within 15 calendar days after the materials and testimony have been submitted. Within 2 business days after a Judge’s decision holding that a disputed provision must be included in a plan, the operator may file with the Judge a motion requesting a stay of the inclusion of that provision. The 2 days begins to run from service of the Judge’s decision. The Secretary may file a response to the operator’s request for a stay within 2 business days following service of the operator’s request. The Judge must issue an order granting or denying the stay within 2 business days after the filing of the Secretary’s response. If a party wishes to challenge the Judge’s order in an ERP dispute proceeding, including the Judge’s order granting or denying a stay, it may file a petition for review with the Review Commission within 30 days after issuance of the decision or order.
Relief Available in Actions Filed By Private Parties: 
Other Relief from Agency Action
Relief Available in Actions Filed by Agency: 
Other Agency Enforcement Action (General)
Verified by Agency: 
Not verified