The committee was created in response to a Congressional order to assess monitoring and sampling approaches for underground coal mining and the rates of exposure mine workers are faced with.

According to Dr. McCawley, the committee will gather information to address three aspects of coal mine dust control. The committee will compare monitoring technologies and sampling protocols used or required in the United States and other industrialized countries for the control of respirable coal mine dust exposure in underground coal mines. The committee will also assess the effects of rock dust mixtures on respirable coal mine dust measurements. Finally, the committee will assess the effectiveness of current monitoring technologies and sampling approaches to establish best practices.

The committee will host a forum at the Marriott Charleston Town Center in Charleston, WV on April 13 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.  This forum will provide the committee an opportunity to hear directly from miners and mine operators. The forum is open to the public and will be used to gather information on the three committee tasks.

“We need information on dust sampling and dust control in the mines, and the best way to do that is to hear from the miners and operators themselves,” Dr. McCawley said. “Our most important task is to report on the early changes that have been made in response to the new coal mine dust regulations. We are expecting a large turnout in Charleston from the coal fields to gather this important information.”