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NSSGA PLEDGES CONTINUED OPPOSITION TO S-MINER LEGISLATION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 31, 2007
Contact: Gus Edwards
ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 31—In response to the House Committee on Education and Labor’s approval of the Supplemental Mine Safety and New Emergency Response Act (S-MINER) on Oct. 31, NSSGA Chairman Louis Griesemer promised continued opposition by the aggregates industry as the legislation moves to the full House.
Griesemer, president and CEO of Springfield Underground, Springfield, Mo., said, “Safety is a top priority of the aggregates industry and we want only what’s in the best interests of our workers. At a minimum, this legislation is premature because the MINER Act passed just last year has not been fully implemented. It makes no sense to impose new, unvetted regulations on top of regulations that haven’t had a chance to be put into practice.”
Education and Labor committee Chairman George Miller (D-Calif.) combined the S-MINER bill (H.R. 2768) and the Miner Health Enhancement Act (H.R. 2769) into one bill that he offered for approval by the full committee. The final vote on the bill was along party lines, with Republicans voting in opposition and all Democrats supporting it.
NSSGA President and CEO Joy Wilson said, “These bills would impose another layer of regulation on the aggregates industry, which is already highly regulated. It undermines long-established federal rulemaking procedures and subverts due process by denying involved parties the right to review and comment on proposed regulations. More importantly, these bills are distracting the aggregates industry and our workers from our focus on safety and health performance, which has improved steadily over the past 17 years and significantly over the last five years.”
NSSGA members at the grassroots level have been registering their concerns about this legislation since Miller introduced the bills in late June. NSSGA held an “Educate on Aggregates” fly-in in September to educate Congress on the S-MINER bill and Miner Health Enhancement Act.
NSSGA joined with other mining organizations in sending a letter to all members of the House Edu-cation and Labor Committee prior to the mark up expressing opposition to the S-MINER legislation. The letter pointed out that, unlike last year’s bipartisan MINER Act, this legislation adds new regulatory requirements that will “create confusion and threaten continued progress in implementing the safety improvements of the MINER Act and it circumvents notice and comment rulemaking, thereby thwarting development of safety and health standards and polices based upon sound science.”
Based near the nation’s capital, NSSGA is the world’s largest mining association by product volume. Its member companies represent more than 90 percent of the crushed stone and 70 percent of the sand and gravel produced annually in the U.S. and approximately 118,000 working men and women in the aggregates industry. During 2006, a total of about 2.95 billion metric tons of crushed stone, sand and gravel, valued at $21 billion, were produced and sold in the United States.
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