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In re Howard

ELR Citation: 39 ELR 20144
Nos. No. 08-5799, (6th Cir., 07/06/2009)

The Sixth Circuit dismissed a miner's petition for writ of mandamus directing the Secretary of Labor to promulgate lower limits for the mount of dust and silica allowed in the air in mines. The Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 authorizes the Secretary to promulgate mandatory air quality standards for U.S. mines, but the Labor Department has not promulgated new standards for dust and silica since 1980. The miner argued that the present standards are too high and that the Secretary has, therefore, violated her duty under the Mine Act to promulgate "improved" standards to protect the health of miners. But because the miner has yet to exhaust his administrative remedies under the Mine Act, his petition must be dismissed.