Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration: Emergency Mine Evacuation
GAO-07-288R: Dec 21, 2006
- Full Report:
GAO reviewed the Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration's (MSHA) new rule on emergency mine evacuation. GAO found that (1) the rule revises the MHSA Emergency Temporary Standard, including requirements for increased availability and storage of self-contained self-rescue devices (SCSRs), improved emergency evacuation drills and SCSRs training, and the installation and maintenance of lifelines in underground coal mines and requires immediate accident notification applicable to all mines; and (2) MSHA complied with applicable requirements in promulgating the rule.
Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration: Emergency Mine Evacuation, GAO-07-288R, December 21, 2006
Pursuant to section 801(a)(2)(A) of title 5, United States Code, this is our report on a major rule promulgated by the Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), entitled Emergency Mine Evacuation (RIN: 1219-AB46). We received the rule on
The final rule revises the MSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS), including requirements for increased availability and storage of self–contained self-rescue devices (SCSRs), improved emergency evacuation drills and SCSRs training, and the installation and maintenance of lifelines in underground coal mines. Also, the final rule requires immediate accident notification applicable to all mines.
The final rule has an announced effective date of
While the final rule has a published effective date of
Therefore, the final rule will not take effect until 60 days later than the date of publication or receipt by Congress. See Liesegang v. Sec'y of Veterans Affairs, 312 F. 3d 1368 (Fed. Cir. 2002), which held that the 60-day delay requirement in section 801(a)(3) applies to when a rule takes effect or goes into operation, not necessarily the same date as the announced effective date. See also Natural Resources Defense Council v. Abraham, 355 F. 3d 179 (2d
Enclosed is our assessment of MSHA's compliance with the procedural steps required by section 801(a)(1)(B)(i) through (iv) of title 5 with respect to the rule. Our review indicates that MSHA complied with the applicable requirements.
If you have any questions about this report, please contact James W. Vickers, Assistant General Counsel, at (202) 512-8210.
Kathleen E. Wannisky
Managing Associate General Counsel
(i) Cost-benefit analysis
MSHA conducted a Regulatory Economic Analysis (REA) of the final rule. The final rule's yearly costs for the underground mining industry total approximately $44.1 million at a 7-percent discount rate and $41.1 million at a 3-percent discount rate, which include the amortized value of first-year costs of about $146.9 million.
Regarding the benefits of the final rule, MSHA concludes that if the final rule had been in effect, 45 fatalities may have been prevented in the four mining accidents considered in the analysis.
(ii) Agency actions relevant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. sections 603-605, 607, and 609
MSHA has certified that the final rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
(iii) Agency actions relevant to sections 202-205 of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995, 2 U.S.C. sections 1532-1535
The final rule contains an unfunded mandate on the private sector, as defined in title II, of more than $100 million in any one year. MSHA has used the analysis contained in the REA to comply with the Act.
(iv) Other relevant information or requirements under acts and executive orders
Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. sections 551 et seq.
The final rule was issued using the notice and comment procedures found at 5 U.S.C. 553. On
Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. sections 3501-3520
The final rule contains information collection requirements subject to review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Paperwork Reduction Act. MSHA has submitted the required information to OMB for review and approval, which includes an estimated annual burden for the first year of 23,920 new burden hours ($1.5 million) and 20,092 hours ($1.1 million) for subsequent years.
Statutory authorization for the rule
The final rule was promulgated under the authority found in the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 (Pub. L. 109-236).
Executive Order No. 12866
The final rule was reviewed by OMB and found to be an economically significant regulatory action under the order.
Executive Order No. 13132 (Federalism)
The final rule does not have federalism implications under the order.