WEST VIRGINIA MORNING: Connecting To Clean Tap Water And Limiting Coal Dust Exposure
Tune in right at 8 minutes to hear our executive director Wes Addington explain MSHA’s Part 90 program for miners.
“It allows a miner who has been diagnosed with black lung to transfer to a less dusty area of the mine without any decrease in pay. In theory, the way that provision of the law is supposed to work is you get miners away from the working face where they are most exposed to dust and put them in a position where there is much less dust exposure. So they’ve already established that they have developed black lung disease. What you don’t want to happen is to continue to add to that dust burden on their lungs and risk early death or risk severe disease. Unfortunately, that program has not been as effective as it should be. We’ve heard about these increased percentages of miners with black lung disease but what we see is very few miners taking advantage of that program and electing to become a part 90 miner. So for example, there are only about three [Part 90 miners] in the entire state of Kentucky… That tells me that system is not working effectively.”
“Their choice shouldn’t be ‘now I have to go to a different position where I make half of what I was previously making.’ That shouldn’t be the choice they have to make – between their health and supporting their family.”