Sam Petsonk Calls for Accountability in Proposed Silica Dust Rule

Sam Petsonk (’13), Attorney at Petsonk PLLC, was quoted by West Virginia Watch raising concerns over the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration’s failure to provide for proper oversight and enforcement in a proposed rule implementing a separate limit for exposure to silica dust, a leading cause of black lung for coal miners (“Advocates Urge More Enforcement, Oversight for MSHA’s Proposed Silica Dust Rule,” Aug. 7). “The administration and leadership [at MSHA] has all the right priorities and there is something deeply commendable in proposing this rule, but the bureaucracy in MSHA has written a rule, a proposed rule, that undermines that. . . . It’s like saying if we catch you speeding we’ll ask you not to speed anymore and send you on your way and see how it works.” Sam urged, “MSHA has the authority to issue citations and withdraw orders mandating that miners be removed from a violated area of the mine. I’d like to see that in the final rule — I’d like to see proposed monetary penalties and the withdrawal of miners when the dust is too high, too dangerous.”