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US mine agency seeks civil penalty criteria change

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Local,Virginia

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Federal mine regulators are proposing a change in the criteria for civil penalties for health and safety violations.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration said Tuesday it will publish a proposed rule that would increase attention on more serious safety and health conditions.

The proposal is structured to encourage mine operators to be more accountable. Minimum penalties for violations that constitute more than just ordinary negligence would increase.

Total penalties proposed by MSHA and the distribution of the penalty amount by mine size would remain generally the same, while the penalty amount for small metal and nonmetal mines would decrease. The existing minimum and maximum penalties for non-flagrant violations won't change.

MSHA says the proposed rule will be published in the Federal Register on Friday.

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