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Finest Hour

By Randy Logsdon

The scene is Mission Control; NASA. The room can be characterized as organized chaos. In a side conversation, two NASA officials (one, the NASA director) are discussing the dim prospects of successful reentry and recovery of the Apollo 13 astronauts. It’s not promising. The scene is from the 1995 movie Apollo 13.

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Impact Inspections

MSHA announced that federal inspectors issued 377 citations and orders during special impact inspections conducted at 15 coal and seven metal/nonmetal mine operations last month. The coal mines were issued 208 citations and seven orders while the metal/nonmetal mines were issued 148 citations and 14 orders.

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Compliance with Air Contaminants Rule Should Start Now

By James Sharpe

Like it or not, aggregate producers should begin preparing now for a new air contaminants enforcement program coming from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

Concerned about harmful overexposures that could adversely affect the health of metal/non-metal miners, MSHA announced late last year that it would soon begin a push to enforce 56/57.5002. The standard requires operators to conduct dust, gas, mist and fume surveys as often as necessary to determine the adequacy of control measures. MSHA expects operators to pro-actively demonstrate compliance.

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$60,000 Penalty Upheld Where Company Failed to Guard Return Roller

By Ellen Smith

Failing to have a proper guard for a return roller on a conveyor cost a quarry $60,000 in an MSHA fine, upheld on Jan. 28 by Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission Judge William Moran.

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Budget Battle Begins

Just in time for rabid discussion at ConExpo-Con/Agg 2011 comes President Obama's initial budget for transportation. On first glance, the numbers make your eyes pop. The Administration has outlined a six-year, $556 billion surface-transportation program that, according to an analysis by The National Stone Sand and Gravel Association, earmarks $336 billion to rebuild America’s highways and bridges, and comes with several sweeping changes in transportation policy.

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